When I was putting together the list of great writers who were journalists too, I missed out on someone big! Guess which writer turned out to have done some journalism too?
Besides a collection of plays loaned to me by a friend, I don’t remember reading much of Chekov (yeah, go ahead and call me philistine). Last week The New Yorker published an article about Chekov’s non fiction the Sakhalin Island. Akhil Sharma writes:
Aton Chekhov’s “Sakhalin Island,” his long investigation of prison conditions in Siberia, is the best work of journalism written in the nineteenth century. The fact that so few people know of the book, and that among Western critics (not necessarily Russian ones) it is considered a minor masterpiece instead of a major one—inferior to Alexander Herzen’s journals, for example—has something to do with how journalism is rarely considered literature. But it has even more to do with the lies that Chekhov told to get access to the prison colony.
Read the whole article here. Looks like another book that I must read.