This collection of sixteen Chekhov stories brings together in one volume many of Chekhov’s finest tales about doctors. The chronologically-arranged collection includes the famous novella, Ward 6, as well as such shorter classics as An Awkward Business and A Doctor’s Visit. In all sixteen stories, the doctor is a major figure, often at the center of a moral conflict.

Robert Coles , in his thoughtful forward, notes that Chekhov raises the "big questions" about "the meaning and purpose of life and the manner it ought to be conducted (and why)." Himself the editor of William Carlos Williams’s doctor stories, Coles recognizes and honors the comparison between Chekhov’s and Williams’s works and their dual careers as physician-writers. Jack Coulehan, in his introduction and comments, provides interesting biographical information on the great Russian writer as well as insightful interpretations of each story.


Editor Jack Coulehan is "a passionate reader" of Chekhov. He has annotated more than 60 of Anton P. Chekhov’s works for this database. As a physician, Coulehan recognizes the struggles Chekhov’s doctors have with depression and burn out, with incompetent co-workers, with their own impairments and flaws. On the more positive side, he also recognizes the courage, empathy, and altruism that characterize Chekhov’s best doctors. Whether the physicians are compassionate and committed, self-indulgent and pompous, or worn out and indifferent, Chekhov’s brilliant writing makes the reading a thought-provoking aesthetic treat. This handsome collection is a worthy companion to the famous doctor stories of Williams.


Kent State Univ. Press

Place Published

Kent, Ohio



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