The first English translation of celebrated Russian writer Nina Berberova’s debut novel: an intense story of family conflict and the struggle over the future of émigré life On a crisp September morning, trouble comes to the Gorbatovs’ farm. Having fled the ruins of the Russian Revolution, they have endured crushing labour to set up a small farm in Provence. For young Ilya Stepanovich, this is to be the future of Russian life in France; for some of his Paris-dwelling countrymen, it is a betrayal of roots, culture and the path back to the motherland. Now, with the arrival of a letter from the capital and a figure from the family’s past, their fragile stability is threatened by a plot to lure Ilya’s step-brother Vasya back to Russia. In prose of masterful poise and restraint, Nina Berberova dramatises the passionate internal struggles of a generation of Russian émigrés. Translated into English for the first time by the acclaimed Marian Schwartz, The Last and the First marks a unique contribution to Russian literature.