Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Remembering Jamey Gambrell

This event was held virtually on Zoom and streamed on YouTube Live.

Click here to watch the event video on YouTube.

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Columbia Slavic Department to celebrate the life and work of Jamey Gambrell, whom the New York Times called “the pre-eminent translator of contemporary Russian” literature. In addition to her work as literary translator, for which she received the prestigious Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Jamey boasted remarkable careers as a reporter and writer for Art in America and Deputy Director for Programs at the Open Society Institute, Moscow. A graduate of the Columbia University Slavic Department and former visiting scholar at the Harriman Institute, Jamey’s untimely death in February 2020 was deeply mourned by the Columbia community.

Invited speakers will address the different aspects of Jamey’s professional life.


Nadezhda Azhgikhina, Executive Director, PEN Moscow.

Gretchen Asbury, Jamey’s sister.

Sarah King, Co-Founder and  Editor-in-Chief, SNAP Editions; Correspondent for Art in America, where she served as Senior Editor and Picture Editor in the 19902.

Ann Kjellberg, Founding Editor, Book Post; Literary Executor of the Joseph Brodsky Estate and co-founder of the Joseph Brodsky Fellowship Fund; former editor at the New York Review of Books and Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Vitaly Komar, artist.

Bela Shayevich, Recipient of 2017 TA Translation Award; Jamey’s student.

Carol Ueland, Professor of Russian Emerita, Drew University.

We will also screen a short clip from Jamey’s film USSaRt. More details to follow.

The program will be moderated by Mark Lipovetsky (Slavic Department, Columbia University), and introduced by Ronald Meyer (Harriman Institute).

We will have an open mic at the end of the program so that members from the audience can share their memories of Jamey.

Vladimir Sorokin and Jamey Gambrell 1991 (Photo by Catharine Nepomnyashchy)

Event Video