The Coffee-House of Surat Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coffee-House_of_Surat

"The Coffee-House of Surat" (Суратская кофейная) (AKA: A Surat Café)[1] is a short story by Leo Tolstoy written in 1891,[2] first published in Russian in 1893, and first published in English in 1901.[3] Like several other of Tolstoy's works (i.e., The Port), this work is based on a French piece translated by Tolstoy himself, by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. Due to the censorship in Russia, Tolstoy had to adjust the tale somewhat.[4]


The story takes place in Surat, India, where a single follower of Judaism, Hinduism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Islam argue with each other about the true path to salvation, while a quiet Chinese man looks on without saying anything, the piece concluding when the followers turn to him and ask his opinion.[5]


This story is a chapter in the common Tolstoy compilation, Twenty Three Tales.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Derk Bodde (2015). Tolstoy and China. Princeton University Press. p. 33.
  2. ^ Leo Tolstoy (1905). Leo Wiener (ed.). The Complete Works of Count Tolstoy. Vol. 24. p. 315.
  3. ^ Leo Tolstoy (2000). Divine and human and other stories. Zondervan Publishing House. p. 19.
  4. ^ Leo Tolstoy (1917). The Diaries of Leo Tolstoy. Vol. 1. Translated by C. J. Hogarth, Alexander Sirnis. Dutton. p. 97.
  5. ^ James Kellenberger (2017). Introduction to Philosophy of Religion. Taylor & Francis.
  6. ^ Leo Tolstoy (1924). Twenty Three Tales. Translated by Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude. Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press. p. 241.

External links[edit]