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The Golden Gate - An Evening with Vikram Seth, translator Andrey Olear and artist Ekaterina Margolis

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The Golden Gate is Vikram Seth's first novel - it is a novel in verse inspired by Eugene Onegin and was originally published in English in 1986. Thirty years later, the novel has finally been published in Russian translation by publishing house “RUDOMINO”, in conjunction with the British Council. Translated by Russian poet and translator Andrei Olear, the book is illustrated by artist Ekaterina Margolis. Come and hear this trio, just back from a whirlwind tour promoting the book in Russia, discussing the Russian translation and its reception in Russia. This is a joint event of Pushkin Club andARCC (Anglo-Russian Culture Club) 

In English and Russian.


About the book:

Set in the 1980s, The Golden Gate follows a group of yuppies in San Francisco. The inciting action occurs when protagonist John Brown has his friend Janet Hayakawa place an amorous advertisement of himself in the newspaper; the latter answered, at length, by trial-lawyer Elisabeth ('Liz') Dorati. A short heyday follows, in which Seth introduces and develops a variety of characters united in part by their interest in self-actualization (often in the form of agriculture) and in part by closeness to Liz or John. Thereafter is depicted the progress of their marriage de facto until its dissolution, which results in the legal marriage of Liz to John's friend 'Phillip ('Phil') Weiss', and the birth of their son. Following his rejection of Liz, John finds a second paramour in Janet, until the latter and two other friends die in an automobile collision; and is himself invited to stand godfather to Liz's son...

Seth says of Eugene Onegin, which he first read in the 1980s - 'I must have read it five times that month. It was addictive. And suddenly, I realized that this was the form I was looking for to tell my tales of California. The little short stories I had in my mind subsided and this more organically oriented novel came into being. I loved the form, the ability that Pushkin had to run through a wide range of emotions, from absolute flippancy to real sorrow and passages that would make you think, during and after reading it."



Vikram Seth - Vikram Seth CBE is an Indian novelist and poet. He has received several awards such as Padma Shri, Sahitya Academy Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword Book Award. Seth has published eight books of poetry and four novels. In 1980, he wrote Mappings, his first book of poetry. The publication of A Suitable Boy, a 1,349-page novel, propelled Seth into the public limelight. His second novel An Equal Music deals with the troubled love life of a violinist. Seth's work Two Lives published in 2005 is a memoir of the marriage of his great uncle and aunt.

In addition to The Golden Gate, Seth has written other works of poetry including Mappings (1980), The Humble Administrator's Garden (1985), All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990) and Three Chinese Poets (1992). His children's book, Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992) consists of ten stories about animals. He has authored a travel book, From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983), an account of a journey through Tibet, China and Nepal. Vikram Seth was also commissioned by the English National Opera to write a libretto based on the Greek legend of Arion and the Dolphin. The opera was performed for the first time in June 1994.

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Andrey Olear – born in 1963 in Tomsk, Russia. Graduated from the Tomsk State University with the degree in Journalism. Among the writer's interests is horse riding and artistic photography.Translations include Shakespeare's Sonnets, Brodsky's original poetry and collections of translated poems by Leonard Cohen.


Katia Margolis was born in Moscow in 1973. She is an artist, writer, translator, illustrator, graphic designer and teacher. She has lived and worked in Venice for over ten years. Her paintings and installations have been regularly exhibited in Venice, Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are examples of her work in collections throughout Europe, the USA and Russia.