Join us in celebrating the launch of Earthly Signs: Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922 by Marina Tsvetaeva. This event will feature readings and discussion from the translator, Jamey Gambrell.
Jamey Gambrell’s excellently translated edition with its well-researched and informative introduction graciously fulfils Tsvetaeva’s desire to see these pieces of diaristic prose bound in a single volume. —Rachel Polonsky, The Times Literary Supplement
Marina Tsvetaeva ranks with Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Boris Pasternak as one of Russia’s greatest twentieth-century poets. The essays collected in this volume are based on diaries she kept during the Revolution and Civil War. In them she records conversations of women in the markets, soldiers and peasants on the train, fighting in the streets of Moscow, a frantic scramble with co-workers to dig frozen potatoes out of a cellar, and poetry readings organized by a newly minted Soviet bohemia. Alone in Moscow with two small children, no income, and a missing husband, Tsvetaeva struggled to feed her daughters, find employment in the Soviet bureaucracy, and keep writing poetry. Her keen and ruthless eye observes with compassion and humor—bringing the social, economic, and cultural chaos of the period to life.
Jamey Gambrell is a writer on Russian art and culture. She has translated works by Tsvetaeva and Tatyana Tolstaya, in addition to Vladimir Sorokin’s three-volume Ice trilogy and his Day of the Oprichnik and The Blizzard. This spring, the one-man show “Brodsky/Baryshnikov” premiered, featuring her translated surtitles of Joseph Brodsky’s poetry. Gambrell was awarded the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation, which recognizes “a significant contribution to the art of literary translation.”