Born out of suffering: the inspiration of Dostoevsky’s great novels

A death sentence, prison in Siberia, and chronic epilepsy. The death of his young children, a gambling addiction, and possible manic depression. Few writers endure such dark lives or possess such bright creativity as Fyodor Dostoevsky. His incomparable experiences inform many of his novels’ most powerful scenes, from accounts of innocent suffering and crazed revolutionaries to nightmarish epileptic fits. He intended to reflect on his traumatic life by writing a memoir but, aged 59, he died of a pulmonary haemorrhage. In 1867, Dostoevsky had four months to write two novels (which amounted to 752 pages) Noting this literary vacuum, Alex Christofi challenges himself to write a sort of third-person memoir