Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press


by Anton Chekhov Translated from Russian by Tom Stoppard

“A richly intelligent rethink of a play.” —Michael Billington, The Guardian

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 96
  • Publication Date February 18, 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4408-9
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $18.00

About The Book

Anton Chekhov was a master whose daring work revolutionized theater, and this was as true of Ivanov, his first full-length play, as of The Cherry Orchard, his last. Building on the success of his acclaimed adaptation of The Seagull, Tom Stoppard returns to Chekhov and the themes of bitter social satire, personal introspection, and the electrifying atmosphere of Russia on the brink of change. In these two new versions, Stoppard brings his crisp and nimble style to two masterpieces of the modern theater. Ivanov is a portrait of a man plagued with self-doubt and despair. Considered one of Chekhov’s most elusive characters, he seeks more in life than the self-absorption and ennui he sees in his contemporaries. Tormented by falling out of love with his dying Jewish wife, Ivanov, on her death, proposes to the young daughter of his neighbor, but, as the wedding party assembles, a final burst of his habitual indecisiveness has fatal results.


“Tom Stoppard’s new English version is vivacious. Cheeky modern colloquialisms rub along with the fin-de-siècle Russian setting.” —Kate Bassett, The Independent

“A pulsating theatrical rollercoaster . . . trenchant, often laugh-aloud funny translation.” —David Benedict, Variety

“A richly intelligent rethink of a play.” —Michael Billington, The Guardian

“It’s one brilliance of Tom Stoppard’s light-on-its feet, ingenious but not too pleased with itself translation that Ivanov’s condition—the thing that has turned him from being an idealist to a no-hoping no-hoper—is everywhere described and nowhere diagnosed. It’s a sack on the back, it’s a sulk, it’s a melancholy which women want to cure. The mystery becomes part of its torment; it is constantly escaping, changing shape, never treatable.” —Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“A richly intelligent rethink of a play.” —Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Blessed with a combination of sharp wit and sympathetic humanity.” —Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

“A master playwright whose plays return repeatedly to the past as part of his ceaseless search for meaning in a bewildering universe while demonstrating farcical cleverness alongside profound humanity.” —from the Dan David Prize citation