Irina Gavrilovna Gurova, née Gordon (1924-2010)

Language: Russian

Jane Eyre translation: 1999

Guriva’s father was born to an educated family, and knew Latin, Greek, French and German. He was a tutor in the famous art collector Schukin’s house. He was later twice arrested by the Soviets as a ‘spy’, and at Solovki prison camp shared a cell with Dmitrii Likhachev. He translated Maupassant, and worked at the publishing house Academia. Gurova’s mother came from a merchant/clergy family. She worked as a housekeeper at a special needs’ home for children, and later as a watchwoman. Gurova’s aunt, an actress, had access to the  library for actors, which was not overly censored. At this library, Gurova first read English literature in translation, e.g. Poe.

Gurova graduated from the Moscow State University in French and German in 1947, and taught English at a high school until 1956. Her first translation, a story by Jack London, was published in 1954. She translated Faulkner, Austen, Steinbeck, Wodehouse, Poe, King, other classics, as well as several writers of sci-fi and fantasy, and edited numerous translations.

Text by Eugenia Kelbert