Marian Schwartz Photo

Marian Schwartz translates Russian classic and contemporary fiction, history, biography, criticism, and fine art. She is the principal English translator of the works of Nina Berberova and translated the New York Times’ bestseller The Last Tsar, by Edvard Radzinsky, as well as classics by Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Goncharov, Yuri Olesha, Mikhail Lermontov, and Leo Tolstoy. Her most recent publications are Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's March 1917: The Red Wheel, Node III, Book 1, and Leonid Yuzefovich’s Horsemen of the Sands, and Olga Slavnkova’s The Man Who Couldn’t Die: The Tale of an Authentic Human Being. She is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowships and numerous prizes, including the 2014 Read Russia Prize for Contemporary Russian Literature, the 2016 Soeurette Diehl Frasier Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the 2018 Linda Gaboriau Award for Translation from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

In advance of the forthcoming publication of Schwartz’s translation of Leonid Yuzefovich’s Horsemen of the Sands by Archipelago Books, Literary Hub published “The Mysterious Case of a Mongolian Murder That Might Have Been…,” one of many footnotes to the tale of the brutal anti-Bolshevik warlord Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg. Read the story here.

For a taste of what it was like to translate Horsemen of the Sands, read my post on the Center for the Art of Translation blog: “On the Outside Looking In.”

My translation of one of Nina Berberova’s finest novellas, “Resurrection of Mozart,” has been included in Found in Translation: 100 of the Finest Short Stories Ever Translated, selected by Frank Wynne. The novella first appeared in 1991 The Tattered Cloak and Other Stories.

Nobel Prize–winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s March 1917: The Red Wheel, Node III, Book 1 has been named a 2018 Outstanding Academic title by Choice magazine.

Check out my recent post on the Columbia University Press blog, “On Translating the Title of The Man Who Couldn’t Die” here.


New and Forthcoming

the man who couldn't die: the tale of an authentic human being, by Olga Slavnikova

In the chaos of early-1990s Russia, a paralyzed veteran’s wife and stepdaughter conceal the Soviet Union’s collapse from him in order to keep him—and his pension—alive, until it turns out the tough old man has other plans.

Listed by Meduza as one of 2019’s top Russia-related books. Read all about it here.

Click here to purchase the book from the Columbia University Press website with the coupon code “RusLib” for a 30% discount.

march 1917: The Red wheel, node iii, book 2, by aleksandr solzhenitsyn

The second volume in the third node of March 1917 continues the story of the Russian Revolution itself, during which not only does the Imperial government melt in the face of the mob, but the leaders of the opposition prove utterly incapable of controlling the course of events. Coming in Fall 2019 from University of Notre Dame Press.

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News and Events

reading for the center for the art of translation

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 7:30p, @ Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Avenue, San Francisco

“Translating Contemporary Russian Literature: Marian Schwartz on Olga Slavnikova and Leonid Yuzefovich” In conversation with Sabrina Jaszi about my two recent translations, Slavnikova’s The Man Who Couldn’t Die: The Tale of an Authentic Human Being and Leonid Yuzefovich’s Horsemen of the Sands, under the aegis of the Center for the Art of Translation. Read more here.

praise for the man who couldn’t die: the tale of an authentic human being

From Kirkus Reviews: Darkly sardonic novel of life in a post-Soviet Russia that keeps looking longingly to its totalitarian past. . . . Concise but densely packed and subtle in its satire. Well-known in Russia, Slavnikova is a writer American readers will want to have more of.

From The Baffler: “In this climate, it’s a good bet that Slavnikova’s latest book, The Man Who Couldn’t Die, lucidly translated by Marian Schwartz, will resound with American readers. Bristling with voter fraud, fake news, and the cozy top-and-tail of media moguls and politicians, Slavnikova’s book is fluent in new language of the damaged reality principle.”

praise for Leonid Yuzefovich’s Horsemen of the sands

In Reading in Translation, Sabrina Jaszi praises the opening novella, “The Storm,” which she describes as “a sweet, searing counterpart to Leonid Yuzefovich’s “Horsemen of the Sands.”

Asian Review of Books has included Horsemen of the Sands on its list of books they particularly liked this year: “2018: The Year in Asian Books.”

Yuri mamleyev's landmark novel now out in a bilingual edition

My translation of The Sublimes (Шатуны), by Russian writer and philosopher Yuri Mamleyev, has now been published in a limited print edition by the Tradition publishing group--a rare example of a version that includes both the translation and the original text. 

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