September 08, 2010

Thoroughbred Post-Horses


Alexander Pushkin famously called translators "the post-horses of literature." Well, two thoroughbreds who have worked with us on Russian Life and Chtenia have just been awarded grants from the National Endowment of the Arts to bring some important works to English. First, Anne Fisher, translator of our book, The Little Golden Calf:

To support the translation from the Russian of The Joyous Science: The Selected Poetry of Maxim Amelin. Born in 1970, Amelin is considered one of the defining voices of the "Thirty-Year-Olds," the last generation to grow up under Soviet power. He has helped run two of Russia's most successful and respected post-1991 publishing houses. His poetry has been called "archaic-innovative," offering a nod toward the classics while using slang and contemporary references.

Second, Deborah Hoffman, who has translated for both Russian Life and Chtenia, received her grant:

To support the translation from the Russian of selections from the memoir How Much Is a Person Worth? by Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia (1907-94). After Kersnovskaia's escape from a labor camp in Siberia, she traveled 900 miles through the Siberian taiga on foot, only to be captured and sent to the Gulag for 10 years where she worked as a swineherd, medical assistant, morgue attendant, and miner. Her handwritten journals and illustrations first appeared in print in a popular Soviet magazine in the early 1990s. Due to her photographic memory and vivid, ironic writing, her essays are important additions to the works about this era in Russian history.

Congratulations to both translators. This is well-deserved acclaim!

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