Publisher: Project Gutenberg
The story is put together in the form of a set of letters written between two people, Makar Devushkin and Varvara Dobroselova. Makar and Varvara are second cousins twice-removed and live across from each other on the same street in terrible apartments. Makar’s, for example, is merely a portioned-off section of the kitchen, and he lives with several other tenants, such as the Gorshkovs, whose son dies and who groans in agonizing hunger almost the entire story, gently crying at night. Makar and Varvara exchange letters back and forth attesting to their terrible living conditions and the former frequently squanders his money on gifts for the latter.