Monday, December 24, 2018

Russian-to-English Translations for 2018

Well, I finally got a little smarter and decided not to post the year’s translation list until late December – it’s amazing how much cleaner the data are that way! I won’t be striking entries for years to come this time around. I can also say for certain that the list has hit an all-time high: 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 books. But watch for changes! I’m sure I’ve missed some books. As always.

As in past years, I have to credit ongoing grant programs from the Institute of Translation and the Prokhorov Fund’s Transcript Program for helping to fund many new translations on the list. Sometimes a listing from grant reporting leads to lots more books, as happened with a title from Holy Trinity Publications that received funding from Transcript: I checked Holy Trinity’s site for that book and found several more that came out this year. Checking a title on the University of Wisconsin Press’s site also started a chain reaction; they published three translations this year.

I think what’s most encouraging about this year’s list is that it’s the most varied I’ve seen since I started keeping track of new translations. There’s a nice blend of fiction and nonfiction, with some children’s books and art books thrown in. Another positive bit of news: I’m already seeing lots of listings for 2019.

Since I’m posting so late in the year, I’ll modify my caveats from years past. This list is just a start; I’m always happy to add books I’ve missed. Please e-mail me with changes/errors or additions; my address is on the sidebar. As last year, this is a global list that includes new translations and some retranslations. I’ve linked titles on the list to publishers’ pages wherever possible. I’ll place a link to this post on the sidebar of the blog for easy reference. I’m taking names and titles for 2019 now, so please start sending them in. Finally, don’t forget the Self-Published Translation post: If you have a book to add, please add it in a comment on that page, here, and I’ll approve it.

All that’s left to say now is happy holidays – enjoy the list and your reading!

Akunin, Boris: Black City, translated by Andrew Bromfield; W&N, November 2018.

Amelin, Maxim: The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of Maxim Amelin, translated by Derek Mong and Anne O. Fisher; White Pine Press, September 2018.

Arseniev, Pavel: Reported Speech, translated by Thomas Campbell, Cement Collective, Jason Cieply, Ian Dreiblatt, Ronald Meyer, Ainsley Morse, Ingrid Nordgaard, Anastasiya Osipova, and Lia Na’ama Ten Brink; Cicada Press, late 2018. I enjoyed Arseniev’s Slavist convention reading very much and am looking forward to reading more.

Averky (Taushev): The Epistles and the Apocalypse, translated by Nicholas Kotar and Seraphim (Rose); Holy Trinity Press, 2018.

Aylisli, Akram: Farewell, Aylis: A Non-Traditional Novel in Three Works, translated by Katherine E. Young; Academic Studies Press, 2018.

Belyaev, Roman: How Does a Lighthouse Work?, translated by Maria Kulikova; b small publishing, 2018. For ages 4-12.

Berggolts, Olga: Daytime Stars: A Poet's Memoir of the Revolution, the Siege of Leningrad, and the Thaw, translated by Lisa A. Kirschenbaum; University of Wisconsin Press, August 2018.

Buksha, Ksenia: The Freedom Factory, translated by Anne Fisher; Phoneme Media, December 2018. This novel won the 2014 National Bestseller Award.

Chekhov, Anton: Chekhov: Stories for Our Time, translated by Constance Garnett, Ilan Stevens and, Alexander Gurvets, illustrated by Matt McCann, with an introduction by Boris Fishman; Restless Books, June. (previous post) I liked this edition a lot!

Chizhova, Elena: Little Zinnobers, translated by Carol Ermakova; Glagoslav Publications, December 2018. (Note: I didn’t find this book on on 12/22/2018 so am unsure about the actual release date.)

Chudakova, Marietta: Mikhail Bulgakov: The Life and Times, translated by Huw Davies; Glagoslav Publications, December 2018. (Note: I didn’t find this book on on 12/22/2018 so am unsure about the actual release date.)

Dorosheva, Sveta: The Land of Stone Flowers, translated by Jane Bugaeva; Chronicle Books, 2018. This is a beautiful, fun, and funny book – I very much enjoyed translating excerpts of this book but am thrilled that Jane Bugaeva translated the whole thing!

Dyachenko, Sergey and Marina: Vita Nostra, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey; Harper Collins, November 2018.

Eisenstein, Sergei: Beyond the Stars: 1. The Boy from Riga, translated by William Powell; Seagull Books, 2018.

Eisenstein, Sergei: Beyond the Stars: 2. The True Paths of Discovery, translated by William Powell; Seagull Books, December 2018.

Ganieva, Alisa: Bride and Groom, translated by Carol Apollonio; Deep Vellum, April 2018. (previous post)

Gazdanov, Gaito: The Beggar and Other Stories, translated by Bryan Karetnyk; Pushkin Press, April 2018.

Gnedov, Vasilisk: Alphabet for the Entrants, translated by Emilia Loseva and Danny Winkler; Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018.

Gnilorybov, Pavel: Moscow Grows: A Book about Moscow -- Past, Present, and Future, translated by Elizabeth Adams, Shelley Fairweather-Vega, Jesse Irwin, and Katherine E. Young, with a foreword by Mikhail Afanasyev; B.S.G.-Press, 2018.

Golomstock, Igor: A Ransomed Dissident: A Life in Art Under the Soviets, translated by Sarah Jolly and Boris Dralyuk; I.B. Tauris, 2018.

Gorenstein, Friedrich: Redemption, translated by Andrew Bromfield; Columbia University Press/Russian Library, 2018.

Grinëv, Andrei Val’terovich: Russian Colonization of Alaska: Preconditions, Discovery, and Initial Development, 1741-1799, translated by Richard L. Bland; University of Nebraska Press, November 2018.

Gumilev, Nikolai: Nikolai Gumilev’s Africa, translated by Slava I. Yastremski, Michael M. Naydan, and Maria Badanova; Glagoslav, August 2018.

Ivanov, Andrei: Hanuman’s Travels, translated by Matthew Hyde; Vagabond Voices, October 2018.

John of Tobolsk: The Sunflower: Conforming the Will of Man to the Will of God, translated by Nicholas Kotar; Holy Trinity Publications, 2018.

Kabakov, Ilya: On Art, translated by Antonina Bouis; University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Kabysh, Inna: Blue Birds and Red Horses, translated by Katherine E. Young; Toad Press, 2018.

Krzhizhanovsky, Sigizmund: That Third Guy: A Comedy from the Stalinist 1930s with Essays on Theater, translated by Alisa Ballard Lin; University of Wisconsin Press, August 2018.

Kudryavitsky, Anatoly: The Flying Dutchman, translated by Carol Ermakova; Glagoslav Publications, 2018.

Mandelstam, Osip: Journey to Armenia, translated by Sydney Monas, Clarence Brown, and Robert Hughes; Notting Hill Editions, September 2018.

Mandelstam, Osip: Concert at a Railway Station. Selected Poems, translated by Alistair Noon; Shearsman Books, 2018.

Mandelstam, Osip; Mayakovsky, Vladimir; Vinokur, Val: Relative Genitive, translated by Val Vinokur; Poets & Traitors Press, 2018. This edition also includes original poems by Vinokur as well as his translations of Mandelstam and Mayakovsky. The description sounds very interesting.

Mayakovsky, Vladimir: Mayakovsky Maximum Access, translated by Jenny Wade; Sensitive Skin Books, 2018. A bilingual edition with stress marked in the Russian, plus notes.

Nikolaeva, Olesia: Ordinary Wonders: Stories of Unexpected Grace, translated by Alexandra Weber; Holy Trinity Publications, 2018.

Novikova, Liudmila: An Anti-Bolshevik Alternative: The White Movement and the Civil War in the Russian North, translated by Seth Bernstein; University of Wisconsin Press, 2018.

Ozerov, Lev: Portraits Without Frames, translated by Maria Bloshteyn, Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, and Irina Mashinski; New York Review Books, November 2018.
Pushkin, Alexander: Lyrics (first volume of four), translated by a team led by Robert Clarke; Alma Books, 2018. (Volumes two and three were published in 2020; volume 4 comes out in 2021.)

Rzhevskaya, Elena: Memoirs of a Military Interpreter: From the Battle for Moscow to Hitler’s Bunker, translated by Arch Tait; Greenhill Books, 2018. This sounds especially interesting.

Sergiev, Ivan Ilyich: My Life in Christ: The Spiritual Journals of St John of Kronstadt, translated by E. E. Goulaeff, revised by Nicholas Kotar; Holy Trinity Publications, 2018.

Shalamov, Varlam: Kolyma Stories, translated by Donald Rayfield; New York Review Books, May 2018.

Sharov, Vladimir: The Rehearsals, translated by Oliver Ready; Dedalus Books, 2018. Oliver won the 2018 Read Russia Award for contemporary literature for this translation.

Shrayer-Petrov, David: Doctor Levitin, translated by Arna B. Bronstein, Aleksandra I. Fleszar, and Maxim D. Shrayer; Wayne State University Press, fall 2018. (Aleksandra Fleszar was one of the group/faculty leaders for the summer study abroad program that brought me to the USSR in 1983!)

Smoliarova, Tatiana: Three Metaphors for Life: Derzhavin’s Late Poetry, translated by Ronald Meyer and Nancy Workman, edited by Workman; Academic Studies Press, 2018.

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr: Between Two Millstones, Book 1, Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978, translated by Peter Constantine; Notre Dame Press, October 2018.

Starobinets, Anna: In the Wolf’s Lair: A Beastly Crimes Book; translated by Jane Bugaeva; Dover Publications, September 2018.

Strugatskys, Boris and Arkady: The Snail on the Slope, translated by Olena Bormashenko; Chicago Review Press, 2018. (Total tangent: I couldn’t help but notice that this translation is part of a Rediscovered Classics series that also includes Kathleen Winsor’s Forever Amber, a huge 1940s bestseller that was banned in Boston – I particularly loved it for including plague.)

Sverdlik, Anna: How Our Emotions and Bodies are Vital for Abstract Thought, translated by Shelley Fairweather-Vega; Routledge, 2018.

Tarkovsky, Andrei: Time within Time: The Diaries, 1970-1986, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair; Seagull Books, December 2018.

Tolstaya, Tatyana: Aetherial Worlds, translated by Anya Migdal; Knopf, March 2018. Longlisted for the 2019 PEN Translation Prize; fingers crossed for the shortlist! 
Trudolyubov, Maxim: Private Life, Ownership and the Russian State, translated by Arch Tait: Polity Books, 2018. 

Tseytlin, Yevsey: Long Conversations in Anticipation of a Joyous Death, translated by Alexander Rojavin; Three String Books/Slavica, 2018.

Tsvetaeva, Marina: Five Hard Pieces: Translations and Readings of Five Long Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Diana Lewis Burgin; University of Massachusetts Press, 2018.

Utkin, Alexander: The King of the Birds translated by Lada Morozolva; Nobrow, 2018. The first in a series of folktale-inspired graphic novels for kids.

Vail, Pyotr and Genis, Alexander: Russian Cuisine in Exile, edited and translated by Angela Brintlinger and Thomas Feerick; Academic Studies Press, 2018. (There’s even a chapter called “Salad and Salo,” making this almost sound like a “don’t miss it” sort of book.)

Vakar, Irina: Black Square, translated by Antonina Bouis; Buchhandlung Walther König, 2018.

Various: Ten Poems from Russia, edited and introduced by Boris Dralyuk, translated by Dralyuk, Peter France, and Robert Chandler; Candlestick Press and Pushkin Press, May 2018.

Various: Slav Sisters: The Dedalus Book of Russian Women’s Literature, please click through for the list of writers and translators!, edited by Natasha Perova; Dedalus Ltd., January 2018.

Various: Four Russian Short Stories: Gazdanov & Others, translated by Bryan Karetnyk; Penguin, February 2018. Stories by Gaito Gazdanov, Nina Berberova, Galina Kuznetsova, and Yury Felsen. Émigré stories.

Various: Russian Cosmism, edited by Boris Groys, translated by Ian Dreiblatt and others; MIT Press, February 2018. (Please click through on the title link for the list of article authors.)

Various: Russians On Trump, edited by Laurence Bogoslaw, translated by what I am told is a band of scrappy, valiant, and conscientious, but anonymous translators; East View Press, 2018.

Various: Mirror Sand: An Anthology of Russian Short Poems in English Translation, edited and translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky; Glagoslav, 2018. A bilingual edition.

Various: Fabergé: Treasures of Imperial Russia: Faberge Museum, St. Petersburg, translated by Antonina Bouis; Rizzoli, 2018.

Various: A Smolny Album: Glimpses into Life at the Imperial Educational Society of Noble Maidens, edited by Nancy Kovaleff, translated by Karen L. Freund and Katherine T. O’Connor; Academic Studies Press, 2018. Bilingual edition. The six photos on the Web page make me want to buy the book. (!)

Various: The Tchaikovsky Papers, edited by Marina Kostalevsky, translated by Stephen Pearl, adapted from the Russian edition, compiled, and edited by Polina E. Vaidman; Yale University Press, 2018.

Vodolazkin, Eugene: The Aviator, translated by Lisa Hayden; Oneworld Publications, April 2018. (And I just noticed that the paperback comes out in early January in the UK!)

Vodolazkin, Eugene: Solovyov and Larionov, translated by Lisa Hayden; Oneworld Publications, November 2018 in the UK; May 2019 in the US.

Yakovleva, Yulia: The Raven’s Children, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp; Puffin Books, May 31, 2018.

Yuzefovich, Leonid: Horsemen of the Sands, translated by Marian Schwartz; Archipelago Books, 2018.

Zoshchenko, Mikhail: Sentimental Tales, translated by Boris Dralyuk; Columbia University Press/Russian Library, 2018.

!*!*! And a bonus book, because I loved the Georgian pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair so much, because there was an event there about this author, and because so little literature is translated from the Georgian into the English:
The Death of Bagrat Zakharych & Other Stories, by Vazha-Pshavela, translated by Rebecca Ruth Gould, available from Paper + Ink. 

Up next: Alisa Ganieva’s Offended Sensibilities, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s Kidnapped. The History of Crimes, and Yulia Yakovleva’s most recent detective novel. Plus a trip report from the ASEEES/Slavist convention, which was ridiculously fun.

Disclaimers: The usual.


  1. Thanks for this roundup, comprehensive and tantalizing as usual! I have to say, I find "Gazdanov & Others" odd; I'm sure Gazdanov is better known than Kuznetsova and Felsen, but has Nina Berberova really been forgotten to that extent? She used to be a Big Name!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Languagehat! Yes, I wondered about Berberova, too. (Perhaps she has better name recognition in the US than in the UK?)