The Twelve Chairs: A Novel

Long recognised as a timeless comic masterpiece-it inspired a Mel Brooks film a half century after its publication-The Twelve Chairs appears now in a lively new translation by Anne O. Fisher. Fisher, the most gifted interpreter of Ilf and Petrov in the English language, balances fidelity to the text and the authors’ characteristic, deeply resonant humour.


“No translator knows Ilf and Petrov like Anne Fisher. The Twelve Chairs is a ruthless skewering of Soviet and Russian culture and society that is as relevant (and funny) today as when it was published in 1928. And of course Fisher’s translation is brilliant and fresh, brimming with invaluable footnotes to provide context and meaning to the text.” —Russian Life

About the Author

Ilya Ilf (1897-1937) and Evgeny Petrov (1902-1942) met as journalists working in Moscow.
Their unique collaboration on The Twelve Chairs (1928) developed from a plot idea suggested to them by Petrov s brother, the famous novelist Valentin Kataev. Their sequel, The Little Golden Calf (1931), was equally popular in Russia. During the Depression, the writers took a road trip across the United States and produced a photographic essay that eventually appeared in book form.Anne O. Fisher translated Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov s The Little Golden Calf (2009), awarded the 2010 AATSEEL Book Award for Best Translation into English, and Ilf and Petrov s American Road Trip: The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers (2007), short-listed for the 2007 Rossica prize. She lives in San Francisco.


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