Books by Richard Pevear

Released: July 2, 2019

"As usual, Alexievich shines a bright light on those who were there; an excellent book but not for the faint of heart."
The Nobel laureate brings her unique style of collecting firsthand memories to the stories of those who were children during World War II. Read full book review >
Released: July 25, 2017

"Essential reading full of remarkable emotional wealth."
The Nobel laureate (2015) writes about "the wrong kind of war": oral confessions from Russian women intimately involved with fighting for the motherland. Read full book review >
NOVELS, TALES, JOURNEYS by Alexander Pushkin
Released: Nov. 30, 2016

"A long overdue collection that speaks truly and well to Pushkin's brilliance as a prose stylist as well as observer of the world."
Superb gathering of writings by the short-lived author Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), best known as a poet—but, argues translator Pevear, also "the true originator of Russian prose." Read full book review >
NOTES FROM A DEAD HOUSE by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Released: March 24, 2015

"A classic made current and a welcome addition to the library of Russian literature in translation."
One of literature's definitive prison memoirs is given new immediacy in this sturdy translation by the team of Pevear and Volokhonsky (Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, 2007, etc.).Read full book review >
SIGNOR DIDO by Alberto Savinio
Released: Jan. 14, 2014

"There's no overarching narrative here, certainly, and this may be more a cabinet of curiosities than a major work, but being in Savinio's company provides a series of small, persistent pleasures."
Savinio—composer, journalist, playwright, painter and younger brother of Giorgio de Chirico—died in 1952, and this, his final book, wasn't published in Italian until 1978. Read full book review >
Released: March 26, 2013

"A literate delight, and a book to look forward to reading more than once."
A welcome new translation of Leskov's grand metaphysical romp, a hallmark of 19th-century Russian literature. Read full book review >
WAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy
Released: Oct. 16, 2007

" One can heartily recommend Bromfield's translation to readers new to War and Peace, but for a fuller sense of Tolstoy's comprehensive and commanding artistic mastery, Pevear and Volokhonsky remain unchallenged as the A-team of Russian translators."
If you're a mountain climber, it's still Everest. If you're a baseball player, it's the career home-run record. If you translate from the Russian, sooner or later you'll visit the Colossus: Leo Tolstoy's enormous masterpiece, whose composition absorbed a decade and whose godlike scope embraces "the intertwining of historical events with the private lives of two very different families of the Russian nobility." Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 16, 2004

"A heartening confirmation of the matchless skill and humanity of one of the true masters."
A welcome gathering of the great storywriter's atypical longer works, newly translated by the industrious pair who have previously offered fresh versions of Tolstoy, Gogol, and Dostoevsky. Read full book review >
ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Pevear's informative introduction and numerous helpful explanatory notes help make this the essential Anna Karenina."
The husband-and-wife team who have given us refreshing English versions of Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Chekhov now present their lucid translation of Tolstoy's panoramic tale of adultery and society: a masterwork that may well be the greatest realistic novel ever written. It's a beautifully structured fiction, which contrasts the aristocratic world of two prominent families with the ideal utopian one dreamed by earnest Konstantin Levin (a virtual self-portrait). The characters of the enchanting Anna (a descendant of Flaubert's Emma Bovary and Fontane's Effi Briest, and forerunner of countless later literary heroines), the lover (Vronsky) who proves worthy of her indiscretion, her bloodless husband Karenin and ingenuous epicurean brother Stiva, among many others, are quite literally unforgettable. Perhaps the greatest virtue of this splendid translation is the skill with which it distinguishes the accents of Anna's romantic egoism from the spare narrative clarity with which a vast spectrum of Russian life is vividly portrayed. Read full book review >
STORIES by Anton Chekhov
Released: Nov. 7, 2000

The acclaimed translating team who've provided lively new English versions of Dostoevsky's and Gogol's masterpieces now turn their attention to the best of all possible short-story writers. Pevear's characteristically incisive introduction emphasizes Chekhov's mastery of impressionism and realism (developed from his expressed commitment to "objectivity. . . truthful descriptions . . . [and] compassion"), en route to lucid, plainspoken translations of consensus masterpieces ("Vanka," "The Darling," "The Lady with the Little Dog") and such lesser-known gems like "The Fidget," "The Student," and—one of its author's most concentrated and limpid depictions of opposed "worlds" colliding—the marvelous "On Official Business." Probably the best one-volume Chekhov currently in print, and indispensable. Read full book review >
FIRST, SECOND by Daniil Kharms
by Daniil Kharms, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, translated by Richard Pevear
Released: April 25, 1996

Every journey has its logistical problems, but they come peck by drove in this absurdist's delight, penned in the 1930s by the Russian Kharms. A gent steps out one morning, ``singing a song,'' joins up with his friend Pete, then with a ``man no bigger than a jug,'' and another ``so long we couldn't see his feet.'' They proceed, though not before solving the dilemma of their varying gaits. This fast becomes a comedy of cooperation, as the bonhomous characters fashion goofily elegant solutions to each new challenge- -who rides the donkey, how to arrange themselves in boat and car. From the vicissitudes of this modest odyssey, Kharms—in Pevear's translation—conjures a drily humorous story that shrewdly captures the unique pleasures of working through a problem with other, very different, people. Or treat the book purely as a comic episode, a look at the varied permutations and combinations of a fixed set of possibilities, or an open-ended, shaggy-dog version of the theme most recently sighted in Ed Young's Donkey Trouble (1995). Rosenthal's superb illustrations are an irresistible cross- pollination of the Katzenjammer Kids with the daft tricksters found in Zap comics, situated in flat, graphically sophisticated landscapes. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8) Read full book review >