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20 November 2018

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The Captain's Daughter

by Alexander Pushkin (translated by Robert Chandler)

For the past five years, Hesperus Press has been doggedly pursuing a mission to “bring near what is far,” to publish lost gems of world literature in new and fresh translations. Several Russian stones have been uncovered and repolished, including an acclaimed translation of Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time, as well as shorter, lesser-known works by Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Mayakovsky and Leskov.

This marvelous new translation of Pushkin’s near-to-last literary work before his death in 1837 is a historical novel of Pugachyov’s rebellion, thickly laced with themes of loyalty, premonition, love and betrayal. Translator Robert Chandler’s rendering has just enough lilt in the diction to remind us that this is 19th century literature, and, for the American reader, sufficient Britishisms (e.g. “going out on the razzle” or “kick over the traces”) to remind that this was originally written in another language entirely.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Jan/Feb 2008