Donna Orwin

Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies
Donna Orwin

Areas of interest

  • Russian psychological prose
  • Russian writings on war
  • 18th and 19th century Russian literature and intellectual history



Donna Tussing Orwin is a Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. A specialist on Leo Tolstoy and Russian psychological prose, she has published three monographs, four edited volumes, and many articles. She was editor of Tolstoy Studies Journal, 1997-2005. She also works on intellectual history and war and Russian culture. Right now she is completing an anthology of primary sources on the latter subject for Columbia University Press. She is a 2008 recipient of the Pushkin Medal for her contribution “to the study and popularisation of Russian language and culture.” 

Select publications

  • Simply Tolstoy.  NYC: Simply Charley, 2017.
  • Александр Дружинин в роли связного между Львом Толстым и Денисом Давыдовым (Alexander Druzhinin as Match Maker between Tolstoy and Denis Davydov). In E. D. Tolstaia, ed., Толстой в Иерусалеме (Tolstoy in Jerusalem) (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2013), 191-201.
  • Co-editor, with Rick McPeak, Tolstoy On War: Narrative Art and Historical Truth in “War and Peace.”  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2012.  To be published in simplified Chinese by Economic Science Press (ESP) no later than March, 2014.
  • “Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910): Art and Truth.” In Michael Bell, ed. The Cambridge Companion to European Novelists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 277-293.
  • Editor. Anniversary Essays on Tolstoy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  •  Consequences of Consciousness: Turgenev, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.