A Hero of Our Time

E-book – $17.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3352-5

Trade Paper – $17.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3351-8
Publication Date
August 2016
Page Count
184 pages
Trim Size
5.125 x 7.75

A Hero of Our Time

Translated from the Russian by Elizabeth Cheresh Allen

Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time was the first modern Russian novel. Published in 1840, it set a model of penetrating observation and psychological depth that would come to typify Russian literature. Its "hero," Grigorii Pechorin, also established a character type that became known in Russian fiction as "the superfluous man"—widely familiar from Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. At once driven by pride and wracked by self-doubt, both shockingly self-revealing and blindly self-deceived, he flounders to affirm himself in a social world he despises yet yearns to dominate. Pechorin is a troubling and unforgettable character. And A Hero of Our Time, which has provoked much controversy, is a novel not only central to Russian literature but fundamental to the Western literary tradition of the antihero.

About the Author

MIKHAIL LERMONTOV (1814–1841), soldier, socialite, and author, gained early fame as a lyric poet in the Byronic vein. He then wrote a few works of prose and drama. But he won historical renown as author of his only novel, A Hero of Our Time, published a year before he was killed in a duel.

ELIZABETH CHERESH ALLENis a professor of Russian and comparative literature at Bryn Mawr College and the author of, among other works, A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition.


“For those who love nineteenth-century Russian novels, Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time is a discovery waiting to be made.  Allen's authoritative new translation affords an excellent opportunity for making that acquaintance." —Cathy Popkin, editor of the Norton Critical Editions of Anton Chekhov'sSelected Stories and author of The Pragmatics of Insignificance: Chekhov, Zoshchenko, Gogol