Fantastical, hallucinatory, and wildly imaginative, the book is rich in linguistic playfulness—part metafiction, part exploration into the farthest reaches and minutest details of reality…Joanne Turnbull, in collaboration with Nikolai Formozov, has produced a compellingly readable translation that is also inventive, that improvises when necessary and consistently insinuates a strangeness and beauty of other worlds, both literary and real…With her notes and her translation, [Turnbull] effectively offers us Krzhizanovsky’s genius—unrecognized and suppressed during his lifetime—rather than drawing attention to herself and her own considerable resourcefulness and artistry. This is a rare and welcome conjunction of a literary text that allows the art of translation to shine and a translator who has brilliantly met the challenge.
—Excerpted from the 2014 PEN Translation Prize Judges’ Citation
In honor of International Translation Day and Banned Books week 2014, we’re saluting Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov, who have brought Autobiography of a Corpse to English readers for the first time. To read the rest of the judges’ citation, visit the PEN website.