Wondering what to buy for those difficult-to-please friends or family members on your holiday gift list? We respectfully suggest Five Plays, by Anton Chekhov, in a brilliant new translation by Marina Brodskaya, with an introduction by Tobias Wolff. Russophiles, Drama Queens and Lovers of Great Literature will thrill to Brodskaya's new interpretation, which has already won high praise from both scholars and actors (Peter Saarsgard no less!) alike. What's more, the translation includes previously mistranslated and omitted passages which reveal the nuances, music, and rhythm of the Russian language. Brodskaya allows us to understand what Russian speakers already do: Chekhov possessed an unparalleled sense of humor that made its presence felt in all of his works. (Three Sisters a comedy? Who knew?)
Some gossippy tidbits to share while you are being showered with praise and thanks for finding the perfect gift? Brodskaya, born and raised in Leningrad/St. Petersburg, was labeled a traitor and enemy of the state by her high school (!), after which she was tried and expelled and offered a car, an apartment, and a ticket to Siberia to “find herself.” Thank goodness for us she found herself instead in Philadelphia, and is now a translator, teacher, and interpreter in Northern California.
Check back for more gift-giving ideas from SUP.