Arsenyev in The New Yorker!


My recent translation of Vladimir Arsenyev’s 1921 classic, Across the Ussuri Kray, has been receiving some great press in places like MongaBay, Russian LifeMinnPost, and most recently (and incredibly) in The New Yorker. These placements have helped boost sales: for a while this book was the #1 top seller in the “Russia Travel” and “Mountain” categories on Amazon, and rose to #6 overall in the “Natural History” category, behind only various formats of books by Bill Bryson and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Kolbert (as of this writing the book has dropped to #82).

I did not translate this book for financial gain–I did it so that more people would know about Vladimir Arsenyev, the southern Russian Far East, and Arsenyev’s dedicated efforts to document the cultural and natural histories of the region. It’s only been a month since Across the Ussuri Kray was published by Indiana University Press, and I must say the response thus far has exceeded my expectations.

I hope I’ve done Arsenyev and the region proud.

Signing copies of “Across the Ussuri Kray” after an Arsenyev presentation at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis. Photograph courtesy Pamela Espeland.




4 Replies to “Arsenyev in The New Yorker!”

  1. Dear Jonathan,

    Congratulations on many counts! That’s wonderful news. Landing an article about one’s work in the New Yorker is a real coup.

    Best regards,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought I knew Arsenyev and the Russian Far East through Akira Kurosawa’s film, “Dersu Uzala” (streamable on Amazon and elsewhere), but I was wrong. Your translation of “Across the Ussuri Kray” brings to life – in greater detail than the movie – all the complex majesty of that wild land and the people who shared it. You have been able to channel Arsenyev making his work lyrical yet accessible to the reader. The book makes me want to go back in time to join the expeditions Arsenyev describes.

    – Mac McCarthy

    Liked by 1 person

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