One measure of a vibrant local literary scene is the way it branches out to artists throughout the world. Russian writer Ludmilla Petrushevskaya visits Massachusetts this week with her book There Once Lived a Women Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales, and the book has interesting ties to Massachusetts. Genre-defying Northampton author/publisher Kelly Link has called the book “thrilling, delicious, and shuddersome.” But its ties go deeper than its promo blurbs: the stories were translated by Cambridge resident Anna Summers (along with Keith Gessen).
Anna graciously agreed to a nano-interview, and if the book’s title suggests an author with a mischievous sense of humor, Anna’s responses suggests a translator who’s game.
ArtSake: What are you working on these days?
Anna: My daughter, Niusha, who is 10 months old.
ArtSake: Were President Obama to create a cabinet post in the arts, whom should he appoint as Secretary?
Anna: George Scialabba, the essayist and reviewer, assuming that he would consider giving up his chair at Harvard.
ArtSake: Who wins the poets vs. prose writers paint ball war?
Anna: What’s paint ball?
On Thursday, November 12, 7 PM, a Russian-language event featuring Ludmilla Petrushevskaya reading There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby will take place in Room 101 of Boston University‘s School of Communication building, 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. Tickets: $5 at the door.
On Friday, November 13, 7 PM, a reception welcoming and honoring Ludmilla Petrushevskaya will be held at the Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow Street, Harvard Square. There will be a reading of her book, which will be available for purchase and signing. This reception is free and open to the public.
Anna Summers was born in Moscow in 1976. She was educated there, then took her doctorate in Slavic Studies at Harvard University in 2007.