Other Worlds: Peasants, Pilgrims, Spirits, Saints is now out from NYRB Classics. A collection of stories and sketches written by the inimitable Russian satirist Teffi (Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya, 1872-1952) and edited by Robert Chandler, it features Sabrina Jaszi's translation of "Leshachikha."
Sabrina's involvement with the project was jumpstarted at the Warwick Translates Summer School where Robert Chandler led the Russian-language workshop. Sian Valvis, who also contributed to the collection, was a fellow participant. In the months that followed, she continued to translate and review material for the book. Together with the other translators, Sabrina worked to convey Teffi's mischievous voice and distinctive use of dialect. The story "Leshachikha" hones in on the narrator's childhood encounters with a mysterious forest creature in the Polish region of Volhynia (then the Russian Empire). This playful fantasy masks a more unsettling tale—of a father-daughter relationship plagued with jealousy and verging on the incestuous.
In a review for The Wall Street Journal, Sara Wheeler praises the collection's translators for being "sensitive to the literal meaning and also, crucially, to context, rhythm and idiom." She continues, "Teffi often writes in a highly accented vernacular that presents a challenge, one that’s handled with skill here... 'Other Worlds' is a magnificent edition of the works of a writer who deserves her seat at the top table of Russian authors, admittedly a crowded gathering."
Read Robert Chandler's introduction to the collection in the Paris Review.