Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Gambler Wife” by Andrew D. Kaufman, Riverhead Books, 2021, On Tour With Suzy Approved Book Tours
Andrew D. Kaufman, the author of “The Gambler Wife A True Story of Love, Risk, and the Woman Who Saved Dostoyevsky” has written a complex and intense Biography of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and his wife Anna, The genres for this novel are Biography, Literary Biography, Russian History, and Russian Literature.
Anna Snitkina, as a young girl would read Dostoyevsky’s articles, and was quite an enthusiastic fan of his. Anna took a stenography course, and when the author was looking for help, Anna would help by taking notes. There was a big age difference, and Dostoyevsky, not only had Epilepsy, but other challenging problems.
The author started to “court” Anna, and they did marry. Dostoyevsky felt he had an obligation to his brother’s widow and step-son to financially support them. Dostoyevsky and Anna were constantly living on the edge when it came to surviving. Anna would pawn things to survive, and Dostoyevsky was obsessed with gambling. Often, Anna would have to ask her mother for money.
The author was a flawed, but he was a creative man, and the political times in Russia often influenced how the couple lived. They did live in Europe for a while. Anna was a “modern” woman of the 1860s, but was more moderate. As she matured, she managed to learn how to deal with her husband’s lapses and problems. Anna wanted to understand his obsession with gambling, and went to the gambling tables to see how this would make her feel.
Anna was intelligent, and became intrigued with publishing her husband’s books, which would open the doors to many opportunities, but women were often not given the same privileges, nor respect as men,
Andrew D. Kaufman has done tremendous research, and provides a new insight into the dynamics of Dostoyevsky and his wife. I would recommend this biography for those readers, who enjoy Russian History and Literature.