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Arrested in 1849 for belonging to a secret group of radical utopians, Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian labor camp—a terrible mental, spiritual, and physical ordeal that inspired him to write the novel 'The House of the Dead'. Told from the point of view of a fictitious narrator-a convict serving a ten-year sentence for murdering his wife-'The House of the Dead' describes in vivid detail the horrors that Dostoevsky himself witnessed while in prison - the brutality of guards who relish cruelty for its own sake; the evil of criminals who enjoy murdering children; and the existence of decent souls amid filth and degradation. More than just a work of documentary realism, the book also describes the spiritual death and gradual resurrection from despair experienced by the novel’s central character-a reawakening that culminates in his final reconciliation with himself and humanity. Also included in this volume is Dostoevsky’s first published work, 'Poor Folk', a novel written in the form of letters that brought Dostoevsky immediate critical and public recognition.