This long short story (or is it a novella?) was another Amanda Holmes Duffy recommenddation. I read it when I was living in Brussels. The life we led there was affluent, comfortable and sociable. But what if that is not enough? Should there be something more to life? I did not feel that I was ever as shallow as Ivan Ilyich but Tolstoy’s story does sound alarm bells to all who read it.
First published in Russian in 1886. Widely translated. Currently available as a Penguin Little Black Classic and in the Melville House Press Art of the Novella series.