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The stories collected here, available for the first time in paperback, represent a sampling of the prose that first established Bulgakov as a major figure in the literary renaissance of Moscow in the 1920s, long before he became known as an influential playwright and novelist. The centerpiece of this collection is the long story "Notes on the Cuff," a comically autobiographical account of how the tenacious young writer managed to begin his literary career despite famine, typhus, civil war, the wrong political affiliation, and the Byzantine Moscow bureaucracy. This stylistically brilliant work was only partially published during Bulgakov's lifetime due to censorship but was immediately recognized by the literati as an important work.