These critically hailed translations of The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters and the other Chekhov plays are the only ones in English by a Russian-language scholar who is also a veteran Chekhovian actor.
Without compromising the spirit of the text, Paul Schmidt accurately translates Chekhov's entire theatrical canon, rescuing the humor "lost" in most academic translations while respecting the historical context and original social climate.
Schmidt's translations of Chekhov have been successfully staged all over the U.S. by such theatrical directors as Lee Strasberg, Elizabeth Swados, Peter Sellars and Robert Wilson. Critics have hailed these translations as making Chekhov fully accessible to American audiences. They are also accurate Schmidt has been described as "the gold standard in Russian-English translation" by Michael Holquist of the Russian department at Yale University.
Both an actor and a Russian scholar, Schmidt sets out to give us a Chekhov who makes sense...The result is a surprisingly lively Chekhov, colloguial and clear, which will come as a revelation to those who know the playwright through the widely read but rather stiff British translations....Schmidt's Chekhov should be the first choice for any American reader.