My work with Polina Skibinskaya can easily be called one of the most pleasant experiences in my life. There are several reasons for this. (As a serious writer – smile – I don’t rely solely on feelings and on the great impression Polina doubtless makes on everyone: I like to analyze and label everything… My fiancée thinks it’s schizophrenia, but that’s beyond the point.)

- quality of translation:

Naturally, the foundation of a great English book by a non-English author is, first and foremost, a quality translation. As I read Polina's translations of my own works, I was amazed by how well she feels the general tone and main idea of each work: I hardly had to give her any additional explanations.

- resourcefulness and receptivity:

If anyone in this world must be receptive to your needs, it’s your literary agent and translator, the person who acts as a buffer between the subjective and often vulnerable world of a writer’s reality and the unforgiving publishing industry. In this respect, Polina has no equals: you can always call her to discuss an image or an idea and talk over various issues, and you can be sure that you’ll get sound criticism or educated acceptance of your opinion.

- marketable presentation:

Self-expression might be the main point of literature – but marketable presentation of the work is the bridge which that self-expression must cross to reach the rest of the world. Polina Skibinskaya pays great attention to marketability of each literary work and can ask you to tune certain parts of the work, challenging you to look at your creation from a new, more profitable point of view.

- quick translation:

Last but not least, Polina works fast. This is extremely important, especially in light of the fact that her speed in no way impacts the quality of her work. After all, time is money.

In my experience, the English-language literary and publishing world is much more civilized than its Russian-language counterpart. It’s by no means any less harsh – but this is Polina Skibinskaya’s job, not yours. If you are seriously dedicated to reaching the English-language market, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better agent and translator than Polina.

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