Northwestern University Press has been publishing Russian literature in translation for over thirty years. They have gone on to publish well-known giants of Russian literature and criticism, including Solzhenitsyn, but have expanded their program to include younger writers and scholars. At the same time, Northwestern is publishing translations of contemporary Russian writers, recovering lost classics, and at the forefront of a major new initiative to promote Slavic studies. Our "best of the back list" includes Ilf&Petrov, Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky, Venedikt Yerofeev, Andrei Platonov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Yuri Trifonov, Vladimir Voinovich, Ludmila Petrushevskaya, to name just a few of the modern Russian classics.
With the March release of the abridged version of Dostoyevsky's A Writer's Diary and the fall 2009 release of The Sublime Artist's Studio: Nabokov and Painting, Northwestern is certainly aiming to capture the sizeable audiences for each of these household names.
Northwestern's strength in Russian literature comes from its long-standing support of critical studies, such as the series AASTEEL Critical Companions to Russian Literature and Studies in Russian Literature, and from a distribution partnership with GLAS publishers, which publishes the latest Russian literature in English translation. Russian translations also figure prominently in the series Writings from an Unbound Europe. Earlier this year, Northwestern, along with the University of Pittsburgh Press and the University of Wisconsin Press, joined with the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to form the Mellon Slavic Studies Initiative that will publish and promote the work of young scholars working on Russia.
Outside of these series, Russian literature forms a significant portion of the general trade list at Northwestern. Upcoming titles include the first English editions of "No Love Without Poetry," the memoirs of famed writer Marina Tsvetaeva's daughter, Ariadna Efron, and Nikolai Nekrasov's (the publisher who introduced Dostoevsky) Petersburg: Physiology of a City.
The arrival of the New York Review Books Classics imprint within the past decade means that there is another competitor for "lost classics" in translation. With its large program, Northwestern University Press is betting-apposite for the publisher of the high stakes gambler Dostoyevsky's diaries-that Russian literature will continue to appeal to American audiences.
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