"Dear Sweet Anna"
In March, 1887, Anton Chekhov's brother Aleksandr fell ill with typhus. Anton Pavlovich immediately set off to see him, taking the train from Moscow to St. Petersburg. His only consolation on the trip there was "dear sweet Anna" ( the novel Anna Karenina), which he read all the way to Moscow.
ILLUSTRATIONS TO "ANNA KARENINA," BY OREST VEREJSKY
Chekhov was not impressed by Turgenev's female characters:
"When you think of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, all of Turgenev's gentlewomen with their seductive shoulders vanish into thin air" (letter to Suvorin, cited in Troyat biography of Chekhov, p. 162).
WHAT THREE NOVELS SHOULD A YOUNG WRITER READ?
Asked once what three novels he would most recommend to a student in creative writing, Faulkner said, "Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina" (Tom Wolfe in Harper's, Nov, 1989, p.51).