Netochka Nezvanova (novel)

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For the mysterious art collective of the same name, see Netochka Nezvanova (author).
Netochka Nezvanova
Author Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Original title Неточка Незванова
Translator Jane Kentish
Country Russia
Language Russian
Genre Novel
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 173 pp
Preceded by The Double: A Petersburg Poem
Followed by The Village of Stepanchikovo

Netochka Nezvanova (Russian: Неточка Незванова, "Nameless Nobody") is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first but unfinished attempt at writing a novel. He started writing it in 1848 and 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[citation needed]. After his return in 1859, Dostoyevsky never resumed work on Netochka Nezvanova, leaving this fragment forever incomplete.

Ann Dunnigan's American English translation of the novel was first published in 1972.


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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