Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Translations Published in 2023

Another year, another list of new translations! Though I haven’t been writing regular posts this year about my recent reading, I faithfully started compiling this list in late 2022. Despite this year’s challenges – thinking globally, there are wars and their ramifications and, thinking locally, there’ve been epic quantities of water flowing into my street and yard – I’m doing fine and reading a fair bit in Russian, often to determine if I’m interested in translating a book or story. Of course I continue to translate: I even (finally!) have a book on the list again and there’s another coming next year.

This year’s list has some interesting surprises. First off, if I counted correctly (something that is never a given), there are 323 books. That’s considerably fewer than last year’s 48.5 but not far behind 2021’s 39. And 32 is particularly good given the (non-)situation with translation grants from Russia as well as some publishers’ hesitance about translations from the Russian because of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The best surprise is that this year’s list includes 15 books written by women; several more books include women authors. Last year’s list had only six books written solely by woman. I’d love to think and hope the parity will last. Of course I’m not sure how this suddenly happened but it’s certainly not because this year’s one repeat listing (for Yana Vagner) is skewing the statistics! It’s great to see more women’s books on the list, particularly since they cover so many genres: novels as well as books of poetry, war notes, tales for children, and story collections.

Moving right along, here are my usual cautions for this post:

As for disclaimers, caveats, and other details, I’m sure I missed some books, perhaps even a lot of books. As in years past, I’ve included books of all genres and ages. Please add a comment or e-mail me with changes/errors or additions; my address is on the sidebar. NB: Though I generally list only new translations (including retranslations), I do occasionally allow a few reprints and reissues. I’ll place a link to this post on the sidebar of the blog for easy future reference. I’m already taking names and titles for 2024, so please start sending them in. Finally, don’t forget the Self-Published Translation post, here: If you have a book to include, please add it in a comment on that page and I’ll be happy to approve it.

This year I want to add a couple special notes to everyone who’s read the blog over the years. First off, I may yet start posting regularly again (likely with a more comp lit approach); we’ll see. I’ve never monitored subscription lists or closely watched blog traffic and have no idea who will read this post but I want to thank all of you for reading my Lizok posts, whether this is your first visit or your hundredth (ha!). Meetings with many of you, be they in person, in Zoom meetings, or over email, are part of the pleasure of being a translator.

As last year, I’m not feeling especially festive this year – though I’m grateful to the town for installing a drain across the street to capture most of that water I mentioned above! – so will again skip the fireworks. Here’s wishing all of you good health, good reading, and a more peaceful world in 2024.

On that note, I’m off to read! Here’s the 2023 list:

Bulay, Elena: How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend, translated by Lena Traer; Thames & Hudson USA.

Chekhov, Anton: The Beauties: Essential Stories, translated by Nicholas Pasternak Slater; Pushkin Press.

Desnitskaya, Anna: On the Edge of the World, translated by Lena Traer; Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Dolgopyat, Elena: Someone Else’s Life, translated Richard Coombes; Glagoslav.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor: The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants, translated by Roger Cockrell; Alma Classics.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor: The Brothers Karamazov, translated by Michael R. Katz; W.W. Norton.

Dyachenko, Marina and Sergey: Assassin of Reality, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey; Harper Voyager, 2023. I read and enjoyed this sequel in Russian!

Fadeeva, Olga: Wind: Discovering Air in Motion, translated by Lena Traer; Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Galina, Maria: Communiques, translated by Ainsley Morse and Anna Halberstadt; Cicada Press.

Genis, Alexander: Dovlatov and Surroundings: A Philological Novel, translated by Alexander Rojavin; Cherry Orchard Books/Academic Studies Press, March 2023.

Gorbunova, Alla: It’s the End of the World, My Love, translated by Elina Alter; Deep Vellum. 

Kalaus, Lilya, and Nauryzbai, Zira: Batu and the Search for the Golden Cup, translated by Shelley Fairweather-Vega; Amazon Crossing Kids.

Kostyuchenko, Elena: I Love Russia, translated by Bela Shayevich and Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse; Penguin Press.

Kurkov, Andrey: Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv, translated by Reuben Woolley; MacLehose Press.

Mandelstam, Osip: Tristia, translated by Thomas de Waal; Arc Publications.

Osorgin, Mikhail: The Riven Heart of Moscow, translated by Svetlana Payne; Glagoslav, August 2023.

Pantsov, Alexander V.: Victorious in Defeat, translated by Steven I. Levine; Yale University Press.

Parshchikov, Alexei: I Lived on the Battlefield of Poltava, translated by Donald Wesling; Academic Studies Press/Cherry Orchard Books.

Platonov, Andrey: Chevengur, translated by Elizabeth Chandler and Robert Chandler; Harvill Secker in the UK, with a US edition from New York Review Books on the way in very early 2024. (One of these days/years, I need to finally get to Chevengur…)

Petrushevskaya, Ludmilla: Kidnapped: A Story in Crimes, translated by Marian Schwartz; Deep Vellum. I enjoyed this one when I read it back in 2019!

Skorobogatov, Aleksandr: Russian Gothic, translated by Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse; Old Street Publishing, May 2023.

The Strugatsky Brothers, Arkady & Boris: The Waves Extinguish the Wind, translated by Daniels Umanoskis; Chicago Review Press.

Tsvetaeva, Marina: Bride of Ice: Selected Poems, translated by Elaine Feinstein; Carcanet, January 2023.

Ulitskaya, Liudmila: The Body of the Soul, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky; Yale University Press. Short stories.

Vagner, Yana: To the Lake, translated by Maria Wiltshire; Deep Vellum. I loved this book when I read it and am glad to finally see it available in the United States! (I wouldn’t normally include this book on the list since the translation came out in English in 2016, from now-defunct Skyscraper Publications. Of course, yes, I’m biased because I love the book! And it’s perfect for winter.) 

Various: The Crooked Mirror: Plays from a Modernist Russian Cabaret, translated by Laurence Senelick; Northwestern University Press.  

Various (70 Poets): Disbelief: 100 Russian Anti-War Poems, collected and edited by Julia Nemirovskaya and translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, Maria Bloshteyn, Andrei Burago, Richard Coombes, and Dmitry Manin. With cover art by Maria Kazanskaya. Smokestack Books, early 2023.

Vasyakina, Oksana: Wound, translated by Elina Alter; Catapult (US), September 2023, and MacLehose Press (UK), August 2023. I read Wound a couple years ago (previous post) and thought it was very good, though I think Vasyakina’s The Steppe, about her father, is even better.

Vodolazkin, Eugene: A History of the Island, translated by Lisa C. Hayden; Plough, May 2023. Back when I read Island for the first time, I wrote this post (here!) that includes it.

Yakhina, Guzel: A Volga Tale, translated by Polly Gannon; Europa Editions.

Yakovleva, Yulia: Death of the Red Rider, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp; Pushkin Press, July 2023. Death of the Red Rider is my favorite of Yakovleva’s Zaitsev books (previous post).

Zabolotsky, Nikolai: Columns, translated by Dmitri Manin, with introduction by Darra Goldstein; Arc Publications.

Zorin, Andrei: The Emergence of a Hero: A Tale of Romantic Love in Russia around 1800, translated by Leo Shtutin; Oxford University Press.


And there’s also this: Mikhail Shishkin’s My Russia: War or Peace?, translated from the German by Gesche Ipsen; Quercus.

And then there’s this collection of short stories written by Ukrainian authors: Embroidered Worlds: Fantastic Fiction from Ukraine and the Diaspora, edited by Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Olha Brylova, and Iryna Pasko, published by Atthis Arts. Please click through to see the list of authors and translators, one of whom, Anatoly Belilovsky, brought the book to my attention. Several stories were translated from the Russian.


Disclaimers and Disclosures. The usual. I know some of the translators, authors, and publishers whose work is on this list. Some of these books were provided to me by publishers, authors, literary agents.