"In his latest monograph Arnold McMillin, a leading Western authority and author of several precious books on Belarusian literature, discusses, with frequent textual illustrations, three groups of writers who comprise the country's literary diaspora: the prose writers, poets and dramatists who emigrated or were exiled in the middle of the 20th century; Belarusian writers in Russia, Latvia and Ukraine; and the literature of ethnically Belarusian Eastern Poland. . . .The first study of its kind in a Western language and with full translations of the Belarusian quotations, this book will be of interest to all students of Slav and comparative literature and of emigration in general. It deserves a place in any university or research library aiming to serve the interests of scholars in the Slav and literary fields." (See the "Belarusians in Great Britain" Web site for further details:
Please make cheques (£30.00 per copy, incl. p/p) payable to "The University of Birmingham". Orders from outside the United Kingdom: Send no money, but await our invoice. Orders and enquiries should be addressed to:
Birmingham Slavonic Monographs
CREES, ERI Building
The University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT
Professor McMillin's books (and articles) are essential resources for those interested in the history of Belarusian literature.
The Byelorussian Tristan, translated by Zora Kipel; Garland Library of Medieval Literature, Vol. 59, Series B, Garland Publishing, Inc., New York and London, 1988, ISBN 0-8240-7598-6; Call Number: PG2835 A1 P6813 1988
For further information, see excerpts from the introduction by Zora Kipel at Belarusian Trystan.
Note: If you go to the link, above, use your Web browser's "back" to return to this page.
The Chornobyl Prayer: The Chronicle of the Future, Svetlana Aleksiyevich, Moscow: Ostozhe Publishers, 1997 [224 pp.; 5" x 6.75"], ISBN 5-86095-088-8; print run: 2500.
Title/Subtitle in transliterated Russian: Chernobyl'skaia molitva: Khronika budushchego. Russian language version available through East View Publications; a US-based book- & periodical-seller specializing in the CIS.
In late 1999, available in English (in the UK) as: Voices from Chernobyl: Chronicle Of The Future by Svetlana Alexievich. Aurum Press Ltd., 1999. (25 Bedford Av., London WC1B 3AT). 197 pp. Also available from www.amazon.co.uk. (Note: A summary of the book is at the amazon.co.uk Web site as well.)
Although translated into several languages, the book is difficult to find in Belarus, and then only in Russian.
A Review of the English-language version of book is at the Belarusians in Great Britain Web Site: book review.
Further information, including awards for this book and author, at the following link: Svetlana Aleksiyevich.
Colours of the Native Country: Stories by Byelorussian Writers, [no author information, other than names; translators listed at end of each story], Mensk : "Byelarus" Publishers, 1972 [272 pp.; 4" x 7"], Call Number: PG2846.E8 C648 1972
Nineteen short stories by Belarusian authors; a few stories the same as in Home Fires.
Ein Lesebuch zur weißrussichen Literatur, (mit deutschen Übersetzungen), Ferdinand Neureiter, Slavistische Beiträge, Band 162, Verlag Otto Sagner, München, 1983, 230 pages, ISBN 3-87690-252-5, Call Number: PG 2834.4 W44 1983, [15 cm by 21 cm;
5.75" by 8"]
In German, with examples of Belarusian literature in Belarusian (kirylicaj) with German translation.
von dem Vorwort: "Die vorliegende Anthologie umfaßt das weißrussische Schrifttum seit der Mitte des vorigen Jahrhunderts, beschränkt sich also bewußt auf die moderne weißrussische Literatur. Die Texte erscheinen im wesentlichen in der heute in der Sowjeunion Üblichen Orthographie; nur einige ältere Texte und solche von Emigranten, die sowjetische Orthographiereformen ablehnen, sind in der alten Schreibweise angeführt. Sicherlich werden Kenner der weißrussichen Literatur so manchen Text und Autor vermissen, doch will dieses Buch ja nur eine Anregung sein, selbst tiefer in dieses Gebiet einzudringen."
Fair Land of Byelorussia: An Anthology of Modern Byelorussian Poetry, Translated by Walter May, Moscow : Progress Publishers, 1976, [368 pp; 4.5" x 8"], Call Number: PG2845.E3 F3
Introduction: "A Gift to the People and All Humanity," by Maksim Tank; Also a short introduction to each poet; Translators comments; title & first line index.
His Battalion and Live Until Dawn, Vasil Bykov (Vasil' Bykaw; Bykau); translated by Jennifer and Robert Woodhouse, University of Queensland Press, Contemporary Russian Writing series, New York, 1981 [412 pp.; 14 cm x 22 cm; 5.5" x 8.5"], ISBN 0-7022-1605-4, Call Number: PG2835.2 B9 E313.
"The translations offered here have been made from the Russian-language versions prepared by the author from his Belorussian originals."
Two novellas -- Focuses on personal/psychological stories of soldiers in combat against the Nazis during World War II.
Home Fires: Stories by Writers from Byelorussia, compiled by Elvina Moroz, Moscow : Raduga Publishers, c1986 [326 pp.; 5" x 8"], Call Number: PG2845.E8 S64 1986
Note: Updated versions of some of the poems in this book are on this Web site. Refer to the poetry links on the Web page about Vera Rich.
Like Water, Like Fire: An Anthology of Byelorussian Poetry from 1828 to the Present Day, translated by Vera Rich, London, 1971, George Allen & Unwin, Ltd, copyright, UNESCO, 1971.
ISBN: 0 04 891041 4 (hardcover) 348 pages; out of print; if you know of any sources for this book, in addition to the one I list here, please contact me.
For examples of her translations from Like Water, Like Fire and elsewhere, go to the entry for Vera Rich on this A Belarus Miscellany Web site. Her photograph from the book and a brief biographical sketch (with an update from 1999) are also included there.
For many of the poems, there are explanatory notes, as well as brief notes about the authors and the chronological periods, together making this book an even more valuable resource than simply a collection of Belarusian poetry in English.
According to the
The Index on Censorship, "the first anthology of Belarusian poetry in English. Sponsored by UNESCO, the book was subsequently withdrawn under pressure from the Soviet censorship."
This book is a major resource for the biographical sketches and poetry samples in English provided about Belarusian writers on this A Belarus Miscellany Web site. Also see Vera Rich's recent compilation of Belarusian poetry, poems on liberty: reflections for Belarus (2004).
Guidebook to Literature Museum of Maksim Bagdanovich, and it includes a lot of biographical detail. (Follow link for further information about Bagdanovich and his poetry (in Belarusian and English).
Reproduction of the cover of this booklet is on the Maksim Bagdanovich Web page (link above).
Text is in the following languages: Belarusian (Cyrillic, narkomovka), English, German, French, and Polish. The text in Belarusian is in much more detail than that of the other languages.
The museum is located in the "Trinity District" of old Mensk.
Miniatures by Sakrat Janovich (Janovic^). Edited & Translated by Shirin Akiner. Parallel text -- Belarusian and English. The Anglo-Belarusian Society, London (1984); 91 pages.
Dual-language with Belarusian and English versions on facing pages (Belarusian is Cyrillic).
From the introduction: "The genre that Janovich has made peculiarly his own is that of the miniature prose essay. These short sketches, often no more than 150 words in length, have the economy of style and evocative power of poetry."
Opposition to Sovietization in Belorussian Literature (1917 - 1957), Anthony Adamovich; Institute for the Study of the USSR - Munich; Series 1, No. 38, January, 1958. Foreword by Alexander Dallin. Verantwortlich fuer den Inhalt: Dr. Stanislau Stankievich. Herausgeber und Verlag: Insitut zur Erforschung der UdSSR, e.V., Muenchen 22 Mannhardtstrasse 6, Te. 2 06 81-84. Printed in Germany by Buchdrukerei Universal, Muenchen 5, Rumfordstrasse, 29-31. 204 pages. Call Number: PG 2834.2 A3 1958a.
"In Belorussian literature political opposition has not be sporadic. It has been a tradition unbroken since the sixteenth century, when the struggle to preserve the independence of the state first began."
Includes sample excerpts from the literature (including some complete poems), extensive bibliography, footnotes, biographical notes about Belarusian authors (185-93), & index.
This book is a major resource for the biographical sketches provided about Belarusian writers on this A Belarus Miscellany Web site. I consider it one of the most important books in English about Belarusian literature.
The Ordeal, Vasil Bykov (Vasil' Bykaw; Bykau); translated from the Russian by Gordon Clough, E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. (publishers), New York, 1972 (USA); The Bodley Head Ltd, London, 1972 (Great Britain); [ 170 pp.; 14 cm x 22 cm; 5.5" x 8.5"], LOC 77-179837; SBN 0-525-17195-9; Call Number: PG2835.2.B9 S6 and "YA FIC BYKOV".
Partial summary from the dust jacket: ". . .Two partisans in German-occupied Russia. . . , out to forage for food on a bitter winter night in Byelorussia, are intercepted by a detachment of politsai--as the traitorous Russians who joined the Nazi-run militia were called. In the ensuing battle one of the politsai is killed and one of the partisans is severely wounded. The partisans manage to escape, only to be captured along with a woman who had helped them, the headman of a village, and a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl. They are all hanged, and their varying attempts to save themselves, their cowardice and their courage, serve paradoxically to transcend their tragic situation and affirm the human spirit. . . ." [Please note the (sadly all-too-typical) apparent extreme confusion & lack of differentiation between Belarusians and Russians in the previous jacket summary!]
First published in Russian in the USSR, 1970, as Sotnikov. First published in English in 1972.
Note: There is a true, historical event that possibly, upon which (in part) Sp. Bykaŭ's novel was based. See the following link regarding the hanging (murder) of the young Belarusian-Jewish woman, Masha Bruskina (along with the two men, Vladimir Shcherbatsevich and Kirill Trus). Other than the hangings, the stories sound very different to me. (Links to other Web sites are provided at the previous link.)
Pack of Wolves, Vasil Bykov (Vasil' Bykaw; Bykau); translated from the Russian by Lynn Solotaroff, Thomas Y. Crowell (publishers), New York, 1981 [181 pp.; 14 cm x 22 cm; 5.5" x 8.5"], ISBN 0-690-04114-4 [ISBN 0-690-04115-2 (lib. bdg)], Call Number: PZ7.B988 Pac 1981.
"Summary: In the forests of Belorussia in 1942, a group of disabled Russian partisans makes its way to a medical unit while being pursued by German soldiers."
Book states that it is the first of Bykau's novels to be published in the United States (1981) -- yet The Ordeal was published in 1972 in the USA.
poems on liberty: reflections for Belarus. Translated by Vera Rich; Editor: Alaksandra Makavik. Art Director: Hienadz' Macur; Project Coordinator: Valancina Aksak. 312 pp. (2004). ISBN 0-929849-05-1. Published as part of (and available from) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's "Бібліятэка Свабоды. ХХІ стагодзьдзе" (Library of Liberty, 21st Century).
Every evening in 2001, Radio Svaboda, Belarusian Service, broadcast a poem-a-day in Belarusian (with background music by G. Verdi). Those 365 poems are collected in Верш на Свабоду (2002).
Reader's Encyclopedia of Eastern European Literature, edited by Robert B. Pynsent, with the assistance of S.I. Kanikova. Harper Collins, 1993. ISBN 0-06-270007-3. Call Number: PN 849.E9R38 1993 809'.8947'03--dc20 Originally published in the UK in 1993 by J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd. as The Everyman Companion to Eastern European Literature.
In addition to overall background material, both historical and literary, including related to anonymous and oral tradition, incudes a summary of Belarusian literature (pp. 515-517), and individual entries for 17 Belarusian authors and poets.
This book has been used as a resource for the biographical sketches provided about Belarusian writers on this A Belarus Miscellany Web site.
Short Stories, Yanka Bryl; translated from the Russian by David Skvirsky, in the series: Library of Soviet Short Stories, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1956 [60 pp.; 10.5 cm x 16 cm; 4" x 6.5"], Call Number: PG2835 B78 A15 1956 XX
Three Short Stories:
"Halya" (pp. 5-37; Note: The Belarusian name "Halya" is often translated from Russian into English as "Galya".)
Editorial Note: That this is Soviet--rather than Belarusian--literature there is no doubt.
Sign of Misfortune, Vasil Bykov (Vasil' Bykaw; Bykau); translated from the Russian by Alan Myers, New York, Allerton Press, 1990 [240 pp.; 15 cm x 23 cm; 6" x 9"], ISBN 0-89864-0049-0, Call Number: PG2835.2 B9 Z413 1990
A novel -- Focuses on an elderly couple in a rural area of Belarus during World War II, where Nazi occupation takes place.
Another English translation is available and is published in Belarus (this translation/editing/printing, regrettably, does not look like it was done with sufficient attention): Portent of Disaster, Vasil Bykov; translated from the Byelorussian (sic) by Nigel Timothy Coey; Mastatskaya Litaratura Publishers, Mensk, 1989. 415 pages.