My Childhood, Autobiography Part I
Originally published in 1913, ‘My Childhood’ is the first volume of Maxim Gorky’s autobiography. Orphaned at an early age, Gorky was brought up in his grandparents’ strict household and he ran away at the age of just twelve. His life on the road, undertaking menial jobs in order to survive would have a huge influence on his literary career and worldview. His impoverished and bleak beginnings helped him to better understand and sympathise with the plight of those on the outskirts of society. A powerful novel, with beautiful descriptions of the Russian landscape, and lots of touching moments - this is a fascinating insight into the Russian author. Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was a Russian author, playwright, and political activist. Orphaned at the age of eleven, Gorky ran away from home and survived by taking on a variety of menial jobs whilst travelling around Russia – experiences which would influence his writing in later life. He often worked as a journalist for local newspapers and his first short story ‘Makar Chudra’ was published in a newspaper in 1892. His first book, ‘Essays and Stories’ was published in 1898 and was an immediate success, allowing Gorky to concentrate fully on his writing. His focus was on those struggling and outcast from society and he was dedicated to portraying their worth and humanity – viewing his literary work as a moral obligation and a political act. He became associated with the Marxist movement and was critical of the Tsarist regime, resulting in his numerous arrests, imprisonments, and periods of exile. Some of his best-known works include ‘The Lower Depths’, ‘My Childhood’, ‘Mother’, and ‘Children of the Sun’. He was a five-time Nobel Prize nominee for his services to literature.