The name of the author is unknown. As the novel is an autobiography, you only get to know about the author as much as he decides to reveal about himself.
The events take place in the monasteries and forests of Russia. More context would be spoiling a masterpiece for you.
The book consists of seven chapters telling the life of a Russian peasant on his quest to cultivate a life of ceaseless prayer.
Prayer is an activity of the soul aiming to unite us with the One we love, Christ Himself. Prayer certainly is not easy. This book shows you that though it is not easy, it is worth it. When you realize that prayer is worth it, it becomes an activity you desire partaking in despite it not being easy. The protagonist in this story is a man trying to find how one can apply Paul’s commandment “Pray without Ceasing.” In the process of finding the answer, he learns the struggles, fruits and blessings of prayer. The pilgrim relates to you his experiences in the form of an autobiography. By the end of the book, you will come to learn that though it is convenient to deem ceaseless prayer an activity reserved for monastics, it is not the case. You can pray without ceasing as you work, support a family and live in the world. You simply need to pray while working, pray for the family you support and live in the world without the world living in you.