Classic Russian Women Authors in Translation

Hi, folks!

Here I am again with another list of classics by women – this time, the Russians! There is nothing like making a reading list to get my blogging mojo back. I recently moved to a new house, and the process of packing and unpacking my books made me crave for a chance to reread some of them. At the start fo the year, Keely decided to host a Reading Russian Challenge 2020, and, inspired by it, I want to try some rereads (NB: her blog has since been deleted, does anyone know what happened?).

Here is my pile of possibilities (I will update this post and link to my reviews):

  • A Double Life, by Karolina Pavlova (1978/ 2019, tr. Barbara Heldt. Original: Двойная жизнь, 1848)
  • Sonechka: A Novella and Stories, by Lyudmila Ulitskaya, tr. Arch Tait
  • The Boarding-School Girl, by Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya (2000, tr. Karen Rosneck. Original: Pansionerka, 1861)
  • Sleepwalker in a Fog, by Tatyana Tolstaya, tr. Jamey Gambrell
  • The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, tr. Mathilde Blind
  • Subtly Worded, by Teffi, tr. Anne Marie Jackson and Robert Chandler
  • Keys to Happiness: A Novel, by Anastasiya Verbitskaya, tr. Beth Holmgren and Helena Goscilo
  • City Folk and Country Folk,  by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya (2017, tr.  Nora Seligman Favorov. Original: Городские и деревенские, 1863)
  • Nihilist Girl, by Sofia Kovalevskaya (2001, tr. Natasha Kolchevska and Mary Zirin. Original: Нигилистка, 1884)
  • Dark Elderberry Branch, by Marina Tsvetaeva, tr. Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine
  • A Captive of Time, by Olga Ivinskaia, tr. Max Hayward
  • The Talisman and Other Stories, by Viktoriya Tokareva, tr. Rosamund Bartlett
  • The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy, tr. Cathy Porter
  • Selected Letters, by Catherine the Great, tr. Andrew Kahn and Kelsey Rubin-Detlev
  • The Man Who Couldn’t Die: The Tale of an Authentic Human Being by Olga Slavnikova, tr. Marian Schwartz
  • Sofia Petrovna, by Lydia Chukovskaya (1994, tr. Aline Werth, emended by Eliza Kellogg Klose. Original: Sofia Petrovna, written in 1939-40, and first published in 1965)
  • White Walls: Collected Stories by Tatyana Tolstaya, tr. Jamey Gambrell and Antonina W. Bouis
  • Journey into the Whirlwind by Evgenia Ginzburg, tr. Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward
  • A Week Like Any Other: Novellas and Stories by Natalya Baranskaya, tr. Pieta Monks
  • The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, tr. Judith Hemschemeyer
  • Isolde, by Irina Odoevtseva (2019, tr. Bryan Karetnyk and Irina Steinberg. Original: Изольда, 1929)
  • Aetherial Worlds: Stories by Tatyana Tolstaya, tr. Anya Migdal
  • Daytime Stars, by Olga Berggolts, tr. Lisa Kirschenbaum and Barbara Walker
  • The Revolt, by Nina Berberova, tr. Marian Schwartz. Collins
  • Hope Against Hope: A Memoir, by Nadezhda Mandelstam, tr. Max Hayward
  • Klotsvog by Margarita Khemlin, tr. Lisa Hayden
  • There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, tr. Anna Summers

BONUS TRACKS: Anthologies & Reference Books

  • An Anthology of Russian Women’s Writing, ed. Catriona Kelly (1994)
  • Russia Through Women’s Eyes: Autobiographies from Tsarist Russia, ed. Toby W. Clyman and Judith Vowles (1999)
  • Russian Mirror: Three Plays By Russian Women, ed. Melissa T. Smith (1998)
  • Slav Sisters: The Dedalus Book of Russian Women’s Literature, ed. Natasha Perova (2018)
  • A History of Women’s Writing in Russia, ed. Adele Marie Barker and Jehanne M. Gheith (2002)
  • Women Writers in Russian Modernism: An Anthology, ed. Temira Pachmuss (1976)
  • Nine: An Anthology of Russia’s Foremost Woman Writers, ed. Paula Nangle (2003)
  • Women Writers in Russian Literature, ed. Toby Clyman (1994)
  • Russian Women Writers, ed. Christine D. Tomei (1999)
  • Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia: A Comprehensive Bibliography, Volume II: Russia, the Non-Russian Peoples of the Russian, ed. Mary Zirin, Irina Livezeanu, Christine D. Worobec, June Pachuta Farris (2015)
  • Dictionary of Russian Women Writers, ed. Mariana Astman Ledkovsky, Charlott Rosenthal, Mary F. Zirin (1994)

That’s all for now, folks! And please do recommend me some more books by Russian women! 🙂

Yours truly,


Otto Scholderer. “Young Girl Reading” (1883)

6 thoughts on “Classic Russian Women Authors in Translation

      1. Well, I’ve read and loved Subtly Worded, City Folk and Country Folk, Sofia Petrovna, Isolde, Aetherial Worlds, The Revolt and Slav Sisters off the top of my head! And there are others I own and haven’t read yet. Teffi is particularly wonderful, and I loved the range of Slav Sisters!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I am reading this list with a completely red face because as a native Russian speaker I barely know, let alone read many of them. Amazing list and so many interesting authors! I hope your reading will be great and congratulations on your new home!

    Liked by 1 person

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