Around the middle of the 19th Century, Russian literature went through its golden age, with the likes of Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Tolstory, and was promptly followed by a silver age, in which many more Russian writers, poets, and dramatists came to widespread attention.
It has a reputation for being bleak and serious (thanks, in part, to Dostoevsky) but behind the works of many there's an accomplished feel for satire and a sense of humour.
In total, Russia (including its time as the Soviet Union) has produced five Nobel laureates in Literature - these are Ivan Bunin, Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Sholokov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky - and also produced one of the most famous never to take the honour, Vladimir Nabokov.
When it comes to Russian literature, I've had an aborted attempt at War And Peace, although I found Tolstoy's The Death Of Ivan Ilyich much easier to sail through. I've also read the sci-fi classic that is We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, which supposedly influence Orwell and Huxley in the creation of their own dystopias.
Yesterday I had an attempt at starting Mikhail Kuzmin's Wings, which was supposedly the first Russian novel, back in 1906, to deal with homosexuality. I got three pages in, thanks to distractions and not being in the right mindset. But I'm now finding myself happily working my way through Vladimir Nabokov's first novel, Mary.
So, what Russian literature have you read? What comes recommended?