This is a selection of very early Chekhov tales, dating from his years in medical school (1879-1884). These nine examples of the work Chekhov churned out during those years to support himself and his family have never previously been published in English. They are all quite short. Of most interest are "How I Came to Be Lawfully Wed," "A Hypnotic Seance," "Intrigues," "In Autumn," and "At the Pharmacy."


These are wonderful examples of the witty sketches that earned the young author his first fame. The sketches are definitely not great literature, but they are thoroughly entertaining. They serve as a good introduction to the light-hearted medical student who was later to become one of Russia's greatest writers.


Translated by Peter Constantine.

Primary Source

Harper's Magazine, Nov. 1997, pp. 43-47, 50-60



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