Actual about (as opposed to parody of about elsewhere on this site impersonating the same)

There is a rather more official bio of me available here. What I tend to spend most of my time on these days is serving as the Associate Dean for International Affairs in Indiana’s College of Arts ans Sciences. Formerly, I served as chairperson of The Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University. I also formerly served as President of The American Literary Translators Association and currently as senior editor at Autumn Hill Books. I recently finished translating a very long, very good book by Miljenko Jergovic, which will be published by Archipelago Books in May of 2021. I’m also trying to be a dad. And a husband. Here’s a picture of me trying to explain it all without moving my mouth.

Russell Scott Valentino

From 2009-2013, I spent a lot of time as Editor-in-chief at The Iowa Review.

This book took me a good ten years to complete, partly because I didn’t have the expertise to do it alone. (I am indebted to the two other people listed on the cover, my friends David Depew and Cinzia Blum, for making it possible to finally manage it.)

Materada, by Fulvio Tomizza, was my first published book-length translation, and Michael Henry Heim was the editor at the Northwestern UP series that published it (Writings from an Unbound Europe, a great series now defunct). That experience taught me how to edit.

I wrote one scholarly monograph based on my PhD dissertation, along with a number of essays published in professional journals in the field of Slavic studies (I would not read this unless you are a real 19th-century Russian literature nerd). More recently, and again after a long gestation period, this time more like a dozen years, I wrote The Woman in the Window. I have also translated books by Igor Stiks (with Tomislav Kuzmanovic), Predrag Matvejevic (this one and this other one), Sabit Madaliev, and Susanna Tamaro (again with Cinzia Blum).


My favorite cover from these various projects remains the one to the right, which Nicki Flores did such a lovely job on. It’s displaying a little darker here than it looks in one’s hands.

Esther Allen, Sean Cotter, and I edited a book devoted to the life and work of Michael Henry Heim (Open Letter Books), which came out in the fall of 2014. It’s called The Man Between: Michael Henry Heim and a Life in Translation, and here’s the listing at the publisher’s website.

The Woman in the Window was long listed for the Historia Nova Prize for the Best Book on Russian Intellectual and Cultural History (for 2014), alongside a number of other really fantastic books published in the same year.

I’m working on some other things now, translations and non-translations both, all while juggling the various activities and engagements noted above.

In the meantime, lots of little things here and there. Here’s a short list with links:

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