Sunday, April 26, 2015

New Russian-to-English Translations for 2015

Compiling annual lists of Russian-to-English translations has grown into a big job! That, of course, is good news, as is the fact that the 2015 list has around 35 entries already and I’m still waiting for information from several translators about books that are coming out this year. This year’s list seems to have a particularly nice blend of genres: there’s lots of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as two children’s books.

A few caveats, as always. This list is just a start—I’ll be happy to add books throughout the year and make corrections, as necessary. Please e-mail me with any changes; my address is on the sidebar. As last year, this is a global list that includes new translations and retranslations, though I’ve limited re-releases to fiction titles. I’ve linked titles on the list to publishers’ pages wherever possible. Publication dates are notoriously subject to slippage; I have transferred a number of books that appeared on the 2014 list to this post and have [edit!] crossed out books on this year’s list that were delayed. I’ll place a link to this post on the sidebar of the blog for easy reference. I’m taking names and titles for 2016 now, so please feel free to send them in. Please note, too, that I have crossed out titles on the 2014 list that weren’t actually published in 2014; I may have missed some. Finally, don’t forget the Self-Published Translation list: If you have a book to add, please add it in a comment.

Happy reading!

Aristov, Vladimir: Selected Poems of Vladimir Aristov, translated by Julia Trubikhina (Kunina), Betsy Hulick, Gerald Janecek, Helga Olshvang (Landauer), and Donald Wesling; Ugly Duckling Presse, Spring 2015.

Baratynsky, Yevgeny: A Science Not for the Earth: Selected Poems & Letters, edited by Ilya Bernstein, translated by Rawley Grau; Ugly Duckling Presse, Spring 2015.

Basinsky, Pavel: Leo Tolstoy: Flight from Paradise, translated by Scott Moss; Glagoslav, 2015. This book won the 2010 Big Book Award.

Chekhov, Anton: The Prank: The Best of the Young Chekhov, translated by Maria Bloshteyn; New York Review Books, July 2015. Illustrations by Anton Chekhov’s brother Nikolai.

Chekhov, Anton: The Cherry Orchard, translated Robert Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky; Theatre Communications Group, 2015.

Elizarov, Mikhail: The Librarian, translated by Andrew Bromfield; Pushkin Press. A Russian Booker Prize winner that I enjoyed. (previous post)

Ganieva, Alisa: The Mountain and the Wall, translated by Carol Apollonio; Deep Vellum, June 2015.

Hellbeck, Jochen: Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich, translated by Christopher Tauchen; Public Affairs, 2015. (A portion of this book, which sounds very interesting, was written in German and translated by Dominic Bonfiglio.)

Ismailov, Hamid: The Underground, translated by Carol Ermakov; Restless Books, 2015.

Kapitsa, Sergei: Paradoxes of Growth, translated by Inna Tsys and edited by Scott D. Moss and Huw Davies; Glagoslav, 2015.

Khemlin, Margarita: The Investigator, translated by Melanie Moore; Glagoslav, 2015.

Kushner, Aleksandr: Apollo in the Grass: Selected Poems, translated by Carol Ueland and Robert Carnevale; FSG, 2015.

Loginov, Vladlen: Vladimir Lenin: How to Become a Leader, translated by anonymous; Glagoslav, May 2014.

Medinskiy, Vladimir: Myths about Russia, translated by Christopher Culver; Glagoslav, May 2014.
Mukhina, Lena: The Diary of Lena Mukhina: A Girl’s Life in the Siege of Leningrad, translated by Amanda Love Darragh; Macmillan, 2015.

Otroshenko, Vladislav: Addendum to a Photo Album, translated by Lisa Hayden; Dalkey Archive Press, March 2015.

Pavlov, Oleg: Requiem for a Soldier, translated by Anna Gunin; And Other Stories, July 2015.

Pavlov, Oleg: Asystole, translated by Arch Tait; Glagoslav, April 2015. (previous post)

Poplavsky, Boris: Apollon Bezobrazov, translated by John Kopper; Slavica/Three String Books, 2015.

Pushkin, Alexander: Eugene Onegin, translated by Roger Clarke; Alma Press, May 2015. (rerelease)

Rybakova, Maria: Gnedich, translated by Elena Dimova; Glagoslav, fall 2015.

Shishkin, Mikhail: Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Storiesof Mikhail Shishkin, translated by Marian Schwartz, Leo Shtutin, Mariya Bashkatova, and Sylvia Maizell; Deep Vellum Publishing, May 2015.

Sokolov, Sasha: A School for Fools, translated by Alexander Boguslawski; New York Review Books, July 2014.

Sorokin, Vladimir, The Blizzard, translated by Jamey Gambrell; FSG, late 2015. (previous post)

Starobinets, Anna: Catlantis, translated by Jane Bugaeva; Pushkin Children’s Books, fall 2014. (previous post)

Slavnikova, Olga: Light-Headed, translated by Andrew Bromfield; Dedalus Books, November 2015.

Stepnova, Marina: The Women of Lazarus, translated by Lisa Hayden; World Editions, fall 2014. (previous post)

Strugatsky, Boris and Strugatsky, Arkady: The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, translated by Joshua Billings; Melville House Press, March 2015.

Tarkovsky, Arseny: I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky, translated by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev; CSU Poetry Center, May 2015.

Tolstoy, Leo: The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories, translated by Roger Cockrell; Alma Press, April 2015.

Tolstoy, Leo: The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, with notes by Andrew Kahn; Oxford University Press, 2015.

Tsvetaeva, Marina: The Essential Poetry, translated by Michael M. Naydan and Slava I. Yastremski; Glagoslav, May 2015.

Ulitskaya, Ludmila: The Big Green Tent, translated by Bela Shayevich and Polly Gannon; FSG, 2015.

Vinogradova, Lyuba: Defending the Motherland, translated by Arch Tait; MacLehose Press, April 2015.

Various: The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, ed. Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski; Penguin Classics, February 2015.

Various: Hit Parade: The Orbita Group, edited by Kevin Platt; Ugly Duckling Presse, Spring 2015. Multiple authors and many translators represented in this bilingual Russian-English collection. An article from The Calvert Journal.

Various: Late and Post Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader, Vol. II, edited by Mark Lipovetsky and Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya. Poetry, prose, and scholarly texts; Academic Studies Press, September 2015.

Various: Russian Silver Age Poetry: Texts and Contexts, Sibelan E.S. Forrester and Martha M.F. Kelly; Academic Studies Press, May 2015.

Various: Red Star Tales: A Century of Russian and Soviet Science Fiction, ed. Yvonne Howell; Russian Life Books, November 2015.

Vodolazkin, Eugene: Laurus, translated by Lisa Hayden; Oneworld Publications, October 2015. (previous post)

Wilke, Daria: Playing a Part, translated by Marian Schwartz; Arthur A. Levine, spring 2015.

Woolf, Oleg: Bessarabian Stamps, translated by Boris Dralyuk; Phoneme Media, March 2015. I have a copy of Bessarabian Stamps and hope to read it soon.

Up Next: Eugene Vodolazkin’s Solovyov and Larionov and Lena Eltang’s Cartagena.

Disclaimers: The usual.


  1. Very exciting to see the new Sokolov translation! I'm sorry Proffer's cutesy/rhyming _School for Fools_ title stuck, but it is a great book deserving of a better translation. That was actually the book that hooked me on translation--I walked into my professor's office freshman year, enraged that I'd found several questionable choices in the first few pages of Proffer's translation (including a very bad mixup of леса and лес) and as a result got two hours worth of translation theory and stories about Proffer at Indiana, where my professor got his PhD in the late 1960s.

    Anyhow, I will be looking forward to it eagerly.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Chris! When I read it, I realized I left off the "A" at the beginning of the title. (It's now fixed; thank you.) Titles are always a problem, but this one has always struck me as particularly odd, too. In any case, I hope you enjoy the new translation when it comes out!

  2. Thanks, as always, for your diligent work, Lisa! But if it's not too much trouble, could I ask you to provide the original title when it's not obvious from the translation? It would save me a lot of googling. I think I've figured out that "The Mountain and the Wall" is Праздничная гора, "Requiem for a Soldier" is Карагандинские девятины, and "Playing a Part" is Шутовской колпак.

    I'm sorry Proffer's cutesy/rhyming _School for Fools_ title stuck

    How would you translate it?

    1. In this case, _School for Imbeciles_ might be the best bet, as mental illness is central to the book. The narrator is not a fool in any common English sense. Even _School for Morons_ would be better.

    2. Languagehat: Thanks for your comment. And here I was thinking you loved the torture of titles! To be honest, by the time I finished that list, the last thing I had on my mind was the Russian titles. If I were really with the program (and had a whole lot more time), I'd include ISBNs, too.

      As for the title of the Sokolov book, Chris's point about mental illness -- which I know is a part of the book -- is why I've always wondered about using "fools" in the translated title. Though of course I haven't read the book. I may need to buy another one: beyond the fact that my copy is water-damaged, it's an old Ardis edition with very difficult-to-read type! Taking it off the shelf just now reminds me why I've picked the book up (and then set it right back down) so many times over the years.

    3. You should definitely buy another copy and read it! I'm definitely biased by the fact that it was a coming of age for me, the first novel I ever struggled with in Russian and maybe the fifth or sixth I ever read in its entirety. But even given that bias, I think it's safe to recommend it. :-)

      It's been a while since I've reread it, so I think I'm going to pick it up once I'm done with the first volume of Dina Rubina's _Russian Canary_ trilogy. I'll post some quotes and translations when I do.

  3. I have it in a beat-up copy of this 1991 anthology, which opens with Aksyonov's wonderful Затоваренная бочкотара and has a bunch of stories by Petrushevskaya, Makanin, Valery Popov, and many others. I got it for a quarter at a library sale!

    1. The magic of the library book sale, that's a great find!

  4. What a year 1976 was: besides the Sokolov, there were Trifonov's Dom na naberezhnoi and Rasputin's Proshchanie s Matyoroi! Not to mention Zinoviev's Ziyayushchie vysoty, Voinovich's Ivankiada, and Astafyev's Tsar-ryba, to reach below the level of the acknowledged classics.

  5. Thanks for this post, Lizok! I had missed it - and I was unaware that there was a translation of the Strugatskiis' "Otel' 'U pogibshego al'pinista'". I'll have to get hold of a copy!

    1. Glad it's helpful! And do let me know if you have anything to list on the 2016 edition... I'm collecting entries!

  6. There are good reviews by Boris Dralyuk in LARB and Ezra Glinter at the Paris Review.

    1. Thank you for posting the links, Languagehat! You beat me to posting the link to Boris's piece in LARB; I hadn't seen Glinter's in Paris Review. I need to get the book!