Translator Takes Fifty and Faces the Music

Altai Pilgrim

Joanna and Shodoev by Jodi Frediani I finally received the first 50 copies of the English version of “Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains, Altai Bilik”. I packed a medium-sized rucksack with 50 books in it, bought a ticket for the over night train to Biisk and considered how Nikolai Andreevich might respond on seeing the English translation in print. You can’t take anything for granted.  I was met in Biisk by Shodoev’s grandson and driven to Gorno-Altaisk where I changed cars to be driven another four hours to Mendur-Sokkon village by his granddaughter. It is at times like this that the Altai family and clan support network really comes to the fore. Nikolai Andreevich was greatly pleased with the publication and quite delighted to read the endorsements, introduction and afterword. His words were: “I couldn’t have imagined that my work would be so highly valued.” I was very relieved. It’s one thing to translate an elder’s works and disappear…

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