A Russian Immigrant: Translingual Pleasures and Literary Responses to COVID-19

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
A Russian Immigrant book cover park bench covered in leaves

Maxim D. Shrayer—author, scholar, and translator—will discuss the lives and careers of translingual authors from the former USSR. He will read from his new book, A Russian Immigrant: Three Novellas (Cherry Orchard Books), a literary manifesto of Russian Jews in America. The novellas feature Simon Reznikov, a restless Boston-based immigrant who experiences Providence, New Haven, and Boston, and embarks on pilgrimages to Estonia and Bohemia. Shayer will also comment on writing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Forget all the slapstick, Moscow-on-the-Hudson, burlesque treatments of Jewish Russian émigré life you've ever read. If you want the honest, beautifully rendered, and deeply compelling truth about what it's like to be a Russian immigrant in America, these three braided novellas by the very talented Maxim D. Shrayer are all you need.”         
 ―Eileen Pollack, author of The Bible of Dirty Jokes

Maxim D. Shrayer is Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies at Boston College and Director of the Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry at the Davis Center. He is the author and editor of over 15 books books, including Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, Yom Kippur in Amsterdam and Voices of Jewish-Russian Literature. Shrayer is a Guggenheim Fellow and the winner of a National Jewish Book Award. Visit Shrayer’s website at www.shrayer.com.


Maxim D. Shrayer, Director, Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry, Davis Center; Professor of Russian, English, and Jewish Studies, Boston College
Moderator: Alexandra Vacroux, Executive Director, Davis Center; Lecturer on Government, Harvard University

Cosponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. The Project on Russian and Eurasian Jewry has been made possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group.Genesis Philanthropy Group

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.


The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 617-495-4037 or daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu in advance of your participation or visit.

Requests for Sign Language interpreters and/or CART providers should be made at least two weeks in advance if possible. Please note that the Davis Center will make every effort to secure services but that services are subject to availability.