Born in Uelen, a village in the Chukotka region of Siberia, Yuri Rytkheu has sailed the Bering Sea, worked on Arctic geological expeditions, and hunted whale in Arctic waters, in addition to authoring over ten novels and collections of stories. In the late 1950s Yuri Rytkheu emerged as not only a writer of considerable literary talent, but as the unique voice of a small national minority-the Chukchi people. His novels and short stories about Chukotka introduced generations of readers to the history and mythology of those who call one of the most majestic and inhospitable environments on earth their home. Bestsellers in Germany and Switzerland, Rytkheu's works are also well-loved in Japan, Finland, Denmark, and France.
Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse was born in Belarus and, together with her family, emigrated to the United States in 1989. She has translated the work of Dimitry Bortnikov, Sergey Gandlevsky, Ilya Brazhnikov, and Yuri Rytkheu. Educated at Vassar College, Oxford University, and University College London, she now lives in London with her husband and two goldfish.