“[This] travelogue is both romantic and closely observed, and [Arsenyev] is an appealing narrator, courageous but more than willing to admit faults and share credit.” —The New Yorker
“Excellent and accessible… Slaght follows in Arsenyev’s snowy, muddy footsteps ― preserving, but also teaching others to identify and appreciate what is unique. Thus the pleasure of reading his new translation lies in the details, which are abundant but never frivolous.” ―LA Review of Books
“A translation that, in its fluency and readability, stands comparison with English-language classics of the genre.” ―Asian Review of Books
In this collection of travel writing by famed Russian explorer and naturalist Vladimir K. Arsenyev (1872-1930), readers are shuttled back to the turn of the 20th century when the Russian Empire was reeling from its defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and vulnerable to its Far Eastern neighbors. What began as an expedition to survey the region’s infrastructure for the Russian military turned into an adventure through one of the most ethnically and ecologically diverse territories in Russia. Encountering the disappearing indigenous cultures of the Nanai and Udege, engaging the help of Korean farmers and Chinese hunters, and witnessing the beginning of indomitable Russian settlement, Arsenyev documents the lives and customs of the region’s inhabitants and their surroundings.