First published in 1900, ‘Three Men’ is a novel by famous Russian author Maxim Gorky. The story follows the fortunes of Ilya, a poor boy from the slums who finds himself catapulted into middle-class society in contrast to the friends and family he has left behind. He soon discovers, however, that wealth does not necessarily buy you security or happiness. A touching, melancholic novel which shockingly depicts the harsh reality of the working class at the time. A contemporary of Tolstoy and Chekhov, Gorky’s work is essential reading for all fans of Russian literature. Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was a Russian author, playwright, and political activist. Orphaned at the age of eleven, Gorky ran away from home and survived by taking on a variety of menial jobs whilst travelling around Russia – experiences which would influence his writing in later life. He often worked as a journalist for local newspapers and his first short story ‘Makar Chudra’ was published in a newspaper in 1892. His first book, ‘Essays and Stories’ was published in 1898 and was an immediate success, allowing Gorky to concentrate fully on his writing. His focus was on those struggling and outcast from society and he was dedicated to portraying their worth and humanity – viewing his literary work as a moral obligation and a political act. He became associated with the Marxist movement and was critical of the Tsarist regime, resulting in his numerous arrests, imprisonments, and periods of exile. Some of his best-known works include ‘The Lower Depths’, ‘My Childhood’, ‘Mother’, and ‘Children of the Sun’. He was a five-time Nobel Prize nominee for his services to literature.