Last year I wrote about the mysteriously limited availability of the wonderful Sergei Dovlatov in English; I am happy to learn from this PEN America post that “when we were putting together PEN America 12, we decided we would re-publish one of Dovlatov’s stories. Happily, one of his translators, Antonina W. Bouis, is a generous member of PEN; I still have her copy of The Suitcase (though I’ll be returning it soon, promise!), from which we selected ‘A Poplin Shirt.'” And I’m pleased that my championing of Dovlatov seems to have played a small role in their decision.


  1. Kári Tulinius says

    Yay! I love Dovlatov. My local library has a ton of his work. A friend of mine put me onto him. He translated a bunch of Dovlatov into Icelandic but never found a publisher.

  2. Fantastic news! Until I looked around for English editions of Dovlatov online recently, I thought they’d be easy to get hold of. I’m teaching a literature course on U.S. immigration this fall, and I wanted to include “The Suitcase” in the section on Third Wave Russian emigres, but I’ll have to settle for photocopies of excerpts. (I’ll also give my students my own translation of Dovlatov’s story “Ariel.” I don’t think that’s been translated, has it?) To me, Dovlatov is clearly a major Russian writer, so I just figured that his English stuff would still be in print — especially since The New Yorker published much of it! No such luck.

  3. Yeah, it’s bizarre. I don’t understand why he’s not as available as, say, Pelevin and Akunin.

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