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Nikolai Leskov (1831–1895) was a novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and journalist. He began his literary career in the early 1860s with the publication of his story “The Extinguished Flame,” the novellas Musk-Ox and The Life of a Peasant Woman, and his novel No Way Out. He is best known for his major works Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, The Cathedral Clergy, The Enchanted Wanderer, The Tale of Cross-eyed Lefty from Tula, and The Steel Flea.