White Guard - Bulgakov, Mikhail; Schwartz, Marian; Dobrenko, Evgeny - Yale University Press
Literary Studies

White Guard

  • Mikhail Bulgakov; Translated by Marian Schwartz; With an Introduction by Evgeny Dobrenko
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Out of Print.

Finalist for the 2009 Sourette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, sponsored by the Texas Institute of Letters.

Winner of the 2009 Best Translation into English Award given by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Literature

Finalist for the 2008 National Translation Award sponsored by the New Jersey Historical Commission

Finalist for the 2008 National Translators Award sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association

Winner of the 2009 Sybil Halpern Milton Prize sponsored by the German Studies Association

White Guard, Mikhail Bulgakovís semi-autobiographical first novel, is the story of the Turbin family in Kiev in 1918. Alexei, Elena, and Nikolka Turbin have just lost their motherótheir father had died years beforeóand find themselves plunged into the chaotic civil war that erupted in the Ukraine in the wake of the Russian Revolution. In the context of this familyís personal loss and the social turmoil surrounding them, Bulgakov creates a brilliant picture of the existential crises brought about by the revolution and the loss of social, moral, and political certainties. He confronts the reader with the bewildering cruelty that ripped Russian life apart at the beginning of the last century as well as with the extraordinary ways in which the Turbins preserved their humanity.


In this volume Marian Schwartz, a leading translator, offers the first complete and accurate translation of the definitive original text of Bulgakovís novel. She includes the famous dream sequence, omitted in previous translations, and beautifully solves the stylistic issues raised by Bulgakovís ornamental prose. Readers with an interest in Russian literature, culture, or history will welcome this superb translation of Bulgakovís important early work.


This edition also contains an informative historical essay by Evgeny Dobrenko.


Marian Schwartz is a prize-winning translator of Russian who recently received her second Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts to translate Olga Slavnikovaís newest novel, 2017. She has translated classic literary works by Nina Berberova and Yuri Olesha, as well as Edvard Radzinskyís The Last Tsar. Evgeny Dobrenko is professor in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is author, editor, or co-editor of more than fifteen books, including Political Economy of Socialist Realism, published by Yale University Press.