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Anna Dostoevskaya, née Snitkina, was hired at age 22 on her first job as a stenographer by Fyodor Dostoevsky, age 48 and already famous as the author of Crime and Punishment. Her assignment was to take the dictation of his new novel, The Gambler. On the first day, she found the writer so stern and sour that she was tempted to quit. On the second day, over tea and pears, he told her the story of his arrest and mock-execution for political activism in such a way that, "I could feel the gooseflesh crawling along my skin," she later wrote. A month later, she accepted his proposal of marriage. She collected her husband's manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs, and wrote two biographical books about him, both published after her death.
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