Anton Chekhov, full name Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904) is regarded as the finest representative of the late 19th-century Russian realist school. The son of a grocer and grandson of a serf, he began his writing career as the author of sketches for humorous journals and moved on to more serious writing. An accomplished playwright and master short story writer, this doctor-turned-writer believed that “in one’s work one should be truthful and simple to the point of asceticism.” Chekhov’s literary output is characterised by objectivity, clarity, and realism. He portrayed the lives of ordinary people in Russia of his time using a deceptively simple technique shorn of elaborate literary devices. Steering clear of complex plots in his plays and stories, he explored the grimness, beauty, and comical aspects of the human condition with consummate skill.