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Editing the Russian PINK ROAD

My friend Lena and I are going through the most wonderful and incredible process of editing the Russian version of my book that is being translated in Moscow by Ilya Davydov. Just want to underline what a great translator Ilya is, how confident I am in his work, and how beautifully and rhythmically he renders my creative work in Russian. I am so proud and fortunate to have my book translated into Russian!

This is how Lena and I are doing it. We allot two hours at a time. We started with the "Can Factory Sonnets," which is a treat in itself. (Several readers have mentioned it as one of their favorites.) Lena reads aloud the translation in Russian and I follow along in English. If I hear anything that might be off, we stop and discuss. If Lena reads anything that might not sound right in Russian we stop and discuss or she changes it. Sometimes it's a long digression but sometimes rather quick. It is a beautiful process.

This would be a wonderful way to edit a book in one’s own language, though it seems kind of old fashioned and laborious. It even reminds me of some of the old ways people wrote. I understand some of the great writers dictated their books to their wives who were major writers themselves, maybe the writers of Dostoevsky’s or Tolstoy’s books. Writing is always an experience of more than one, no matter how it is touted as a single writer’s. Translating brings this to the fore. Translating is another level of writing, so I can see how Ilya’s capability in Russian really brings a shine to my work in Russian.

I love rereading it/hearing it aloud in Russian. The editing process is then a new level of writing. Lena and I have done lots of writing together under the guise of translating. She is a great translator herself. Although she is not an expert in English, she is in her own language and it is a joy and privilege to work with her. I am proud of all the work being done on My Pink Road to Russia, as I was on Pink Flamingos!

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