Anton Chekhov – Complete Short Stories
Chekhov’s stories have a quiet domesticity that is both comforting and melancholy. His characters take delight in the littlest things, where something as little as a food’s smell can bring back associations and memories from happier times—or a relief that past unhappy times are gone. His characters also argue about trifles, sometimes aware of the low stakes, and sometimes not. The small scale of his plots lets the reader concentrate on how different personality types and people in different social situations react to different stimuli, as though Chekhov were conducting experiments in human nature. This makes some sense; Chekhov was a medical doctor in his non-literary life.