The Russian playwright and novelist Mikhail Bulgakov (1891 - 1940) is now widely acknowledged as one of the giants of twentieth-century Soviet literature, ranking with such luminaries as Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn. In his own lifetime, however, a casualty of Stalinist repression, he was scarcely published at all, and his plays reached the stage only with huge difficulty. His greatest masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a novel written in the 1930s in complete secrecy, largely at night, did not appear in print until more than a quarter of a century after his death. It has since become a worldwide bestseller. In Manuscripts Don't Burn, J.A.E. Curtis has collated the fruits of eleven years of research to produce a fascinating chronicle of Bulgakov's life, using a mass of exciting new material - much of which has never been published before.