What does it take to be a bilingual writer?



JENYA KREIN was born in Leningrad, Russia, and immigrated to the United States in 1988. Since 1989, she has been residing with her family in the Boston area. Jenya is a bilingual author: fiction writer, translator, and essayist. She is a member of the American PEN Club. Her short stories have appeared in the Russian language literary magazines Vestnik (USA), Storony Sveta (USA), Novy Bereg (Copenhagen, Denmark), Speaking in Tongues (Vladivostok, Russia), Topos (Moscow, Russia), and in a number of web-based literary journals (Okno, Port-folio, Za-Za and others). Her published translations include: the Russian to English translation of Fifteen Instances of Spring by Dmitrii Bavilsky, Ars Interpres (Stockholm, Sweden); the English to Russian translations of Eliot Weinberger’s essays from his Paper Tigers collection: Paradise, the Russian version of Esquire magazine (Moscow, Russia) and Karmic Traces, Arkady Dragomoshchenko Publishing (St. Petersburg, Russia).

Jenya received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from UMASS Boston. Her formal education in the field of literature began with a fellowship to study at the 2010 Summer Literary Seminars at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). In the summer of 2013 she attended Yale University’s Writers Conference and studied with Hope Dellon of St. Martin’s Press at the Historical Novel Seminar. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA degree in Creative Writing from University of Tampa.

Along with her passionate literary work and painting, Jenya is involved in comprehensive and challenging professional activities. She is a Cross-Cultural Trainer and Russian Dialects Coach. Her previous experience as a Program Director for WorldBoston running the Russian-American Business Exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and her work at the Office of Multicultural Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health enriched her professional and cultural exposure and familiarity with cross-cultural matters. Presently, she works as the Russian Program Director at Brighton House.

In 2007, Jenya’s first novel Devyataya Doroga (Route Nine), written in Russian, was short-listed by The New Review (New York, USA) in an international contest for Russian writers residing outside of Russia. The novel placed fourth internationally and first among writers living in the US. In 2008, three of her stories were included in the short story anthology GORODU & MIRU (to the City & to the World), published in hardcover by one of Russia’s leading publishing houses Lenizdat (St. Petersburg, Russia). Two of Jenya’s books have been published by Franc-Tireur Publishing (USA): Zatmenie Serdtsa (Eclipse of the Heart, 2010, in Russian) and Together (2014, in English), both of which are collections of short stories and essays.

Jenya’s essay A Crowd of One’s Own, dedicated to the creative work of renowned Russian-born American writer Margarita Meklina, appeared in the 2013 issue of the Florida English—an academic magazine published by the Florida College English Association. She was an award winner in the prose category of the 2013 literary contest held by Okno Journal for her short story Dotch Stalina (Stalin’s Daughter), which was published in its 12th issue.

“Jenya Krein’s writing is inquisitive and insightful. Every short story is a venture into a human condition, a camping trip up or down the mountain peaks and lakes of the soul. Her novel about Robert Frost is unique. She tells us about relating to the world literature via her main heroine’s love for a man and this man’s name is Frost, and she desires the ghost in the way she would desire any other man, with passion and physicality. This novel is the biggest literary accomplishment of Jenya Krein to this day.”

Margarita Meklina, Laureate of the “Russian Award”