Introduction by Edith Wharton
Part of The Neversink Library
“Distinctly Chekhovian, a mixture of comedy and pathos, suffused with low-key irony.” – Michael Dirda
Hailed by his famous contemporaries including Edith Wharton, H.G. Wells, Katherine Mansfield, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh, who called him a “genius,” William Gerhardie is one of the twentieth century’s forgotten masters, and his lovely comedy Futility one of the century’s neglected masterpieces.
It tells the story of someone very similar to Gerhardie himself: a young Englishman raised in Russia who returns to St. Petersburg and falls in love with the daughter of a hilariously dysfunctional family—all played out with the armies of the Russian Revolution marching back and forth outside the parlor window.
Part British romantic comedy, part Russian social realism, and with a large cast of memorable characters, this astoundingly funny and poignant novel is the tale of people persisting in love and hope despite the odds.