Sep 24, 2020 • 48M

RUSSIA – Interview with translator Katherine E. Young

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Appears in this episode

Lisa Carter
We bring world literature into your life, through interviews with authors & translators and readings from books we love.
Episode details

Welcome to the Intralingo World Lit Podcast, featuring authors and translators from around the globe.

Look at Him is a moving and one-of-a-kind memoir / investigative journalism exposé by Anna Starobinets, a novelist of such renown she is often referred to as “Russia’s Stephen King.”

In this memoir, Anna recounts the loss of her unborn son due to a fatal birth defect. It is a deeply personal account and an honest, scathing commentary on the Russian medical system with respect to women’s health.

It’s one of the most incredible memoirs I’ve ever read. Anna does not hide anything from herself, let alone from others, even when events are shockingly painful. That willingness to open up and share is beautiful to see, and to receive as a reader.

It is a profoundly human and touching story.

“This is not a book that divides the world into good and evil,” Katherine says. “It is a book about the whole swarm of emotions that make up any human being.”

Though a difficult topic, Katherine hopes we can read this memoir with an open mind. I wholeheartedly agree.

Thank you to Katherine E. Young and Slavica Publishers for the review copy.


Translator Katherine E. Young is the author of Woman Drinking Absinthe (forthcoming 2021), Day of the Border Guards (2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist), and two chapbooks of poetry. She is the translator of Farewell, Aylis by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli and two poetry collections by Inna Kabysh. Her translations of contemporary Russian-language poetry and prose have won international awards; she was named a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow. From 2016–2018 she served as the inaugural Poet Laureate for Arlington, Virginia. 

Author Anna Starobinets is a Russian journalist, screenwriter, and writer of fiction. An Awkward Age, a collection of short stories, has been translated into a number of languages, including English (Hesperus). Other prose titles include Refuge F/A, a novel; Cold Spell, a collection of short novels; The First Squad: The Moment of Truth, a tie-in; The Icarus Gland, a collection of short stories (published in English by Skyscraper); and a number of books for children. All of her novels have been nominated for the Russian National Bestseller Prize; in 2014 Starobinets won the National Bestseller Prize in the Young Writers category. Look at Him is her only work of nonfiction.

Enjoy and thanks for listening!
Lisa Carter
Founder & Creative Director, Intralingo Inc.