The Pushkin Club presents a reading and Q&A with author Anna Starobinets and translator Katherine E. Young, discussing Look At Him, a heartbreaking, controversial memoir about the loss of an unborn child.

The Pushkin Club is delighted to welcome Anna Starobinets, a journalist, scriptwriter and novelist who has recently fled Russia, and Katherine E. Young, a translator and laureate of the Pushkin House translation residency. They will discuss Anna’s recent book, Look At Him – a ‘beautiful, darkly humorous, and deeply moving’ memoir that explores the moral and psychological effects of the loss of a pregnancy and its aftermath. In Russia, the book was the subject of a storm of controversy, prompting both praise and severe condemnation for the author’s willingness to discuss long-taboo issues of women’s agency over their own bodies, the aftereffects of abortion and miscarriage on marriage and family life, and the callousness and ignorance displayed by many in Russia in situations like hers. Starobinets and Young will also discuss the overall publishing situation for writing about women’s lives and family wellbeing in Russia and describe Look at Him‘s journey beyond Russia in translation. Both Look At Him and the author herself are life-affirming, honest and engaging, and this promises to be an incredibly special evening.


Anna Starobinets is sometimes called “a queen of Russian horror” and she is best known as an author of science-fiction and dystopias for adults – and fairy tales and detective stories for children. She has received various Russian and European literature prizes, including a European Science Fiction Society award as “Best European Sci-fi Author”. Her books have been translated and published in Great Britain, the USA, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Bulgaria, Poland, Greece, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

Katherine E. Young is the author of the poetry collections Woman Drinking Absinthe and Day of the Border Guards (2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist) and the editor of Written in Arlington. She is the award-winning translator of Look at Him by Anna Starobinets (Russia), Farewell, Aylis by Akram Aylisli (Azerbaijan), and Russophone poetry from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Young was named a 2015 Hawthornden Fellow (Scotland) and a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow (USA). From 2016–2018, she served as the inaugural Poet Laureate for Arlington, Virginia, USA.