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 30 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.”
Arch Tait’s most recent translations are Sergey Yarov’s Leningrad, 1941-1942 (Polity); and Ivan Chistyakov’s The Diary of a Gulag Prison Guard (Granta)
"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