My guest this week is the comedienne and writer Viv Groskop, and our subject is the greats of 19th- and 20th-century Russian literature. In her new book The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature, Viv tells us (among other things) how Dostoyevsky can calm you down, how Anna Akhmatova can cheer you up and how Alexander Solzhenitsyn can keep you going when things look grim. Can Russia’s gallery of madmen, drunks, suicides and exiles — with their canon of work about madmen, drunks, suicides and exiles — really be corralled into the self-help genre? If anyone can make the case, it’s Viv — who offers an enlightening, funny and quietly erudite tour of Russian literary history.
You can listen to our conversation here:
And do subscribe on iTunes for a new episode every Thursday.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.