Pessimistic young Foma Gordyeff has inherited his father’s shipping business and soon finds himself spiralling out of control – squandering his fortune and indulging his every whim. When he meets Sasha it seems as though his life is about to change for the better, but will Sasha be the salvation that Foma so desperately needs? A compelling story from famous Russian writer Maxim Gorky, ‘The Man Who Was Afraid’ is a powerful tale about social injustice. A contemporary of Tolstoy and Chekhov, this is an essential read for 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.