Netochka Nezvanova (novel)

Netochka Nezvanova  
Author(s) Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Original title Неточка Незванова
Translator Jane Kentish
Country Russia
Language Russian
Genre(s) Novel
Publication date 1849
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 173 pp
Preceded by The Double: A Petersburg Poem
Followed by The Village of Stepanchikovo

Netochka Nezvanova is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first but unfinished attempt at writing a novel. The first completed section of the book was published in the end of 1849. According to translator Jane Kentish, this first publication was intended as "no more than a prologue to the novel". [1] Further work on the novel was prevented by Dostoyevsky's arrest and exile to a Siberian detention camp for alleged participation in revolutionary activities. After his return in 1859, Dostoyevsky never resumed work on Netochka Nezvanova, leaving this fragment forever incomplete.


The story is about the sorrowful life of a young girl living in extreme poverty in Saint Petersburg, who ends up an orphan and is adopted by a wealthy upper class family. When she meets her new stepsister, Katya, she instantly becomes infatuated with her and the two soon become inseparable. However, one day Katya is forced to leave to Moscow with her parents, and for the next eight years Netochka lives with Katya's older sister, who becomes her new mother figure. The story ends abruptly before the two girls reunite.


  1. ^ Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Netochka Nezvanova. Translated with an introduction by Jane Kentish. Penguin Books. 1985. ISBN 0-14-044455-6

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