Riveting Reads: Russian Literature Today and Riveting Russian Translation Workshop

In the 19th century Russia gave us some of the world’s greatest novelists and short story writers, the outstanding Men of Letters primarily from the golden cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, writing about tormented aristocrats, glittering ballrooms and brave downtrodden peasants. Today our love of the Russian Classics means we often overlook the wealth of contemporary fiction available in all genres, from crime to science fiction, satire to surrealism, by men and women from all parts of the Russian-speaking world, and, thanks to a parallel wealth of translators, available to us in English. Celebrated authors Alisa Ganieva, Boris Akunin, Andrey Kurkov and Zinovy Zinik joined journalist and Director of the European Literature Network Rosie Goldsmith to discuss and read from their work.

Watch the video from the event (video by London Video Stories)

See photos from the event (photos by Max Easterman)

To see more photos from the event, go to Flickr.


The evening event at the British Library was preceded by the Riveting Russian Translation Workshop . In this exciting professional workshop open to both aspiring and established translators of Russian, acclaimed translators Anna Gunin, Boris Dralyuk, Oliver Ready and Jamie Rann explored narrative techniques in literary translation of both classical and contemporary Russian fiction. How does a translator begin and end a novel with equal panache, and still retain the gripping effect of the original opening sentences, the surprise and suspense as the plot unfolds, and the full impact of a powerful ending? What are some specific issues in translating Russian? The lively workshop comprised a mixture of text analysis (including comparative translation extracts from Chekhov’s short stories), plenty of practise and guest talks.

See our photos from the workshop (photos by Max Easterman)

To see more photos from the workshop, go to Flickr.

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