This week NYRB Classics published Anton Chekhov's The Prank, the first book Chekhov put together and tried to publish when he was only twenty-two years old. But he failed, thanks to the censors, and the book was never published: until now, in English, the first time in any language. Translated from the Russian by Maria Bloshteyn and accompanied by illustrations by Chekhov's brother Nikolai, The Prank is not only an important book but also an absolute delight on its own, outside of its historical magnitude and the magnitude of its author. This is no mere curiosity. Read the full post.