Arch Tait learned Russian at Latymer Upper School, London; Trinity Hall, Cambridge; and Moscow State University. He has a PhD in Russian literature from Cambridge and began translating in earnest in 1986 after a meeting with Valentina Jacques, then editor of the magazine Soviet Literature.

From 1993 he was the UK editor of the Glas New Russian Writing translation series, whose editor-in-chief was Valentina's successor, Natasha Perova.

To date he has translated 27 books by leading Russian authors of fiction and non-fiction.

“You've developed into a very fine translator. Few people have such deep understanding of Russian psychology, culture and way of life, and such ability to express it all in English. I think what you are doing is much more important and useful than researching a petty official's life which is of no interest to anyone. Building bridges between cultures is much more honorable and productive, and absolutely necessary at this time.”
(Natasha Perova, 2014)

Arch Tait’s most recent translations are Lyuba Vinogradova's Defending the Motherland and Oleg Pavlov's Asystole.

"The language is wonderful! I can't get over it. The words are so intelligently and accurately selected they flow like music. Thank you once again." Face Fashion, Moscow (2007)

"I think your translation of Anna's diary is spectacular... it is both stylish and colloquial. Thank you for this window." E.M., Maryland

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  Ludmila Ulitskaya

Daniel Stein, Interpreter, A Novel in Documents

Translated by Arch Tait
Overlook Duckworth
New York and London, 2011

Hardback, $27.95 ISBN-13: US 978-1-59020-320-0
Hardback, £16.99 ISBN-13: UK 978-0-7156-4163-7
Hardback, Can $35.00

409 Pages

“A fascinating work... Achieves the height of virtuosity”, Le Monde
“A feat of love and tolerance”, Washington Post
“An elegant translation”  Jewish Review of Books
“A marvellous translation”  Christian Science Monitor

“An able and practised translator” Times Literary Supplement 

Ludmila Ulitskaya has earned accolades abroad for this groundbreaking work, at last available in English. The novel tells the story of Daniel Stein, a Polish Jew who narrowly survives the Holocaust by working for the Gestapo as an interpreter. After the war, he converts to Catholicism, becomes a priest, enters the Order of Barefoot Carmelites, and finally emigrates to Israel. Despite this seemingly impossible progression, the life and destiny of Daniel Stein are not an invention – the character is based on the actual life of Oswald Rufeisen, the real Brother Daniel.  This innovative, furious, and funny book, compiled as a series of documents – letters, diary entries, postcards, and other records – ranges from before the Second World War to modern times and from the shtetl to Israel to America. It portrays a life full of amazing contradictions and undaunted faith. In “Daniel Stein, Interpreter”, Daniel’s willingness to communicate with everyone, to translate across linguistic and cultural divides, not only assured his freedom but stands as a symbol of love, humanity, and tolerance.

Donna Rifkind writes in The Christian Science Monitor
Again and again, through the unsentimental miscellany of this novel in documents, Ulitskaya makes the improbable believable. Why would Daniel, after suffering the horrors of this monstrous historical cataclysm, run towards faith rather than away from it, and towards a faith that has resonated with so much hostility in the minds of many Jews? How could his modestly utopian quest to build a house of worship modelled on the first Christian church in Jerusalem attract any attention in modern Israel, ground zero for every brand of religious extremism and Jerusalem-syndrome-afflicted nutjobs? Yet through the slow unfolding of Ulitskaya's composite storytelling, an entirely convincing portrait of Daniel emerges: we have complete faith in his character, if not in his beliefs.

Ulitskaya writes in the last of her novel’s confessional letters: “I recognise that what you believe doesn't matter in the slightest. All that matters is how you personally behave.”

From “Daniel Stein, Interpreter”
“I had been saving up what I had to tell him for so many years, and then between the soup and the bigos I could not find how to begin. He himself made it clear that he was prepared to listen to me. He said, ‘You know, Daniel, it is very difficult to turn this great ship. There is a habit of thinking in a particular manner, both about Jews and about many other things. You have to change the direction without capsizing the ship.’ ‘Your ship threw the Jews overboard, that’s the problem,’ I said. He was sitting almost opposite me, slightly to one side. He has large hands and the papal signet ring is large, and on his head was the white papal skullcap, like a yarmulke, and he was listening attentively. Then I told him everything I had been thinking these last years, the things which keep me awake at night.”


  Peter P. Kozorezenko. Viktor Popkov : A Russian Painter of Genius

Translated by Arch Tait

London: Unicorn Press, 2013
Hardcover ISBN: 9781906509347
446 pages

  Sergey Shipunov, Charismatic Public Speaking

Translated by Arch Tait

Tvorcheskaya Masterskaya
Moscow, 2009

ISBN 978-5-91691-004-9
264 pages

  Anna Politkovskaya, Nothing But the Truth

Translated by Arch Tait

Harvill Secker
London, 2010

Hardback GBP 18.99, $Can 36.95
ISBN 978-1-846-55239-7
468 pages

In bookshops now, or buy from call 0870 836 0875



  Anna Politkovskaya, A RUSSIAN DIARY

Translated by Arch Tait

Harvill Secker London, 2007

Hardback GBP 17.99,$Can 42.50
ISBN 978-1-8465-5102-4
323 pages

Buy from The Guardian (UK) or call 0870 836 0875


  Lilia Shevtsova,
Lost In Transition, The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies

Translated by Arch Tait

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Washington, DC, 2007

Hardback GBP 29.99
ISBN 978 0 87003 237 0 

Paperback GBP9.99
ISBN 978 0 87003 236 3
288 pages

From bookshops, or order from Amazon

  Alexander Dolgin, The Economics of Symbolic Exchange

Translated by Arch Tait

Springer Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg, 2009

Hardback ISBN 978-3-540-79882-8
501 pages