'She turned into a frog, into a lizard, into all kinds of other reptiles and then into a spindle'
In these tales, young women go on long and difficult quests, wicked stepmothers turn children into geese and tsars ask dangerous riddles, with help or hindrance from magical dolls, cannibal witches, talking skulls, stolen wives, and brothers disguised as wise birds. Half the tales here are true oral tales, collected by folklorists during the last two centuries, while the others are reworkings of oral tales by four great Russian writers: Alexander Pushkin, Nadezhda Teffi, Pavel Bazhov and Andrey Platonov.
In his introduction to these new translations, Robert Chandler writes about the primitive magic inherent in these tales and the taboos around them, while in the afterword, Sibelan Forrester discusses the witch Baba Yaga. This edition also includes an appendix, bibliography and notes.
'This is a unique, beautifully edited book: an essential addition to the library of any Russophile' - Spectator
*Longlisted for the Rossica Translation Prize 2014*
Translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler
With Sibelan Forrester, Anna Gunin and Olga Meerson
Robert Chandler is a poet and translator. His translations from Russian include Aleksandr Pushkin's Dubrovsky and The Captain's Daughter, Nikolay Leskov's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate and The Road. With his wife Elizabeth and other colleagues he has co-translated numerous works by Andrey Platonov; Soul won the 2004 American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages award for best translation from a Slavonic language, as did his translation of The Railway by the contemporary Uzbek novelist Hamid Ismailov. His Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida is published in Penguin Classics.