Jewish Book Week 2023 Saturday 25 February - Sunday 05 March | Tickets now on sale

Translating Soviet Literature

Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, Bryan Karetnyk

Chair: David Herman

02/03/2023 7:00 pm
Kings Place, Hall 2

Ticket Price : £15.00

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Three of the leading literary translators from Russian to English – Robert ChandlerBoris Dralyuk and Bryan Keretnyk – join literary critic David Herman to discuss their most recent translations: Vasily Grossman’s The People Immortal; Isaac Babel’s Of Sunshine and Bedbugs; and Yuri Felsen’s Deceit. From Jewish gangsters in Babel’s native Odessa and the catastrophic first months of the German invasion of the Soviet Union to a psychological self-portrait of an unnamed narrator, these remarkable books are among the greatest works of Soviet literature.

Click here to buy a copy of Of Sunshine and Bedbugs Essential Stories by Isaac Babel, trans by Boris Dralyuk, here to buy a copy of Deceit by Yuri Felsen, trans Bryan Keretnyk and here to buy a copy of The People Immortal by Vasily Grossman, trans Robert Chandler.

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Robert Chandler


Robert Chandler is the main English translator of both Vasily Grossman and Andrei Platonov. He has also compiled three anthologies for Penguin Classics: of Russian short stories, of Russian magic tales and, with Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. He is a co-translator of three volumes of memoirs and stories by Teffi. His short biography of Alexander Pushkin is published by Pushkin Press. He runs a monthly translation workshop at Pushkin House (Bloomsbury).

Boris Dralyuk


Boris Dralyuk is co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski) of  The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015), editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution (Pushkin Press, 2016), and translator of Isaac Babel, Andrey Kurkov, Maxim Osipov, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and other authors. His poems, translations, and essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, Granta, and elsewhere. His collection My Hollywood and Other Poems was published by Paul Dry Books in 2022. Image cr. Jennifer Croft

Bryan Karetnyk


Bryan Karetnyk is an award-winning British writer, critic and translator. His recent translations from the Russian include major works by Gaito Gazdanov, Irina Odoevtseva, Boris Poplavsky and Yuri Felsen. He is the editor and principal translator of the landmark Penguin Classics anthology Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky and is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and the Financial Times. Twitter: @Bryan_S_K.

David Herman


David Herman was a TV producer for twenty years and for the past twenty years has worked as a freelance writer, writing more than a thousand articles, reviews and essays for The New Statesman, Prospect, The Guardian and a wide range of Jewish publications including The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish Renaissance and The Jewish Quarterly.

The Jewish Chronicle


Jewish Book Week 2023 is proud to partner with the Jewish Chronicle, the world's oldest Jewish newspaper.