Behind the Book: Robert Chandler

24 May 2016

On this week’s Behind the Book we caught up with Robert Chandler, one of the translators of our brand new titles by literary sensation Teffi: Memories and Rasputin and Other Ironies. Read on to find out about the pleasurable moments of translation and why a short story by Platonov is the Russian work you must read.

Where are you at your happiest?

Not sure. I love swimming. I am also often very happy during the hours when my wife and I are working together on a translation, batting a phrase to and fro between us.

Which person (living or dead) would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Andrey Platonov, whom I have been translating, off and on, for the last 40 years.  It is entirely possible he would choose to remain silent – but even this would be memorable.  It might even say a great deal!

What does being a translator mean to you?

I was once introduced to an acclaimed French translator of Shakespeare.  I was taken aback by my own entirely unexpected reaction: I felt envious of him.  He could get close to Shakespeare in a way that I can’t.   Being English, I can’t translate Shakespeare.  And  I can’t act or direct or put his words to music.  All I can do is read him – and that doesn’t seem quite enough.  Translating entails a deeper form of reading.


Managing Production Editor Vacancy

19 May 2016

Pushkin Press is recruiting a Managing Production Editor to help oversee our growing publishing programme. This is an exciting opportunity for someone with several years’ experience of book publishing and a thorough understanding of editorial, production and design. You will liaise closely with editors in and out-of-house to ensure high quality and punctual publication of the more than 70 titles/year published across Pushkin’s adult and children’s imprints, including reprints and paperbacks.

A sneak peek: Rasputin and Other Ironies

17 May 2016

Memories by Russian satirist and writer Teffi is currently the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and we’re thrilled that many will be discovering her exquisite wit and ironic sleight of hand for the first time. Alongside Memories, we’re also publishing Rasputin and Other Ironies a book of Teffi’s dazzling non-fiction writings – charting her meeting with Tolstoy aged thirteen, working under the eye of Lenin as a journalist and rebuffing the advances of that ‘terrible sorcerer’ Rasputin.

Read on for an exclusive sneak peek at one of Teffi’s needle-sharp short pieces, covering the peculiar dislocation of émigré life in Paris.


Many people find it surprising that I live somewhere so busy, right opposite Montparnasse station. But it’s what I like. I adore Paris. I like to hear it here beside me – knocking, honking, ringing and breathing. Sometimes, at dawn, a lorry rumbles past beneath my window, so loudly and so close, as if coming straight through my room, that I involuntarily, in my sleep, draw up my legs, so they don’t get run over. And what wakes me in the morning is Paris itself – dear, elegant, beautiful Paris. Far better than being woken by some bewhiskered old crone of a concierge, with the eyes of a cockroach.

Read more

A Sneak Peek: Teffi’s Memories

12 May 2016

‘I never imagined such a memoir could be possible, especially about the Russian Civil War. Teffi wears her wisdom lightly, observing farce and foible amid the looming tragedy, in this enthralling book’ ANTONY BEEVOR

With the brilliant Memories – From Moscow to the Black Sea now out, we couldn’t wait to share a slice of Russian writer and satirist Teffi’s characteristic wit and wisdom with you.

Teffi was a literary sensation in Russia until war and revolution forced her to leave her country for ever. Memories is her blackly funny and heartbreaking account of her final, frantic journey into exile across Russia-travelling by cart, freight train and rickety steamer-and the ‘ordinary and unheroic’ people she encounters. From refugees setting up camp on a dockside to a singer desperately buying a few ‘last scraps’ of fabric to make a dress, all are caught up in the whirlwind.

Intrigued? Click below to read a sample of a hilarious interlude during one of Teffi’s many hectic train journeys in Memories.

Read now >


Sneak Peek: Daredevils

05 May 2016

Shawn Vestal’s blistering debut Daredevils publishes today and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you this unforgettable tale of mormons, teenage rebellion and the dizzying taste of freedom on the road.

Fifteen-year-old Loretta, raised by strict Mormon parents, slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her ‘gentile’ boyfriend, intrigued by his good looks and worldly ways. Her parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. When Evel Knievel-worshipping Jason, Dean’s teenage nephew, falls in love with Loretta, the pair make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of Mormon gold. But someone is on their trail…

Click here to read an exclusive extract. We guarantee you’ll be hooked by this spirited story of desire and escape in 1970’s America.

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