Donna Tussing Orwin

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

Current affiliations

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Areas of interest

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


Main Bio

Donna Tussing Orwin is Professor of Russian Literature in the Department of Slavic Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of the prize-winning study Tolstoy's Art and Thought, 1847-1880 (1993), editor (with Robin Feuer Miller) of Kathryn Feuer's Tolstoy and the Genesis of War and Peace (1996), and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Tolstoy (2002). She was editor of Tolstoy Studies Journal for eight years.

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.

Awards & recognition

  • Member, Royal Society of Canada. Inducted November 17, 2012
  • Recipient of the Pushkin Medal by Russian President Vladimir Putin, for contribution “to the rapprochement and mutual enrichment of different people’s cultures and the study and popularisation of Russian language and culture” 2008
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence (for best overall performance in the Slavic department), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Special Award for the publication of a lost book (Kathryn Feuer’s Tolstoy and the Genesis of War and Peace, Cornell University Press, 1996), American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 1998
  • Honorable Mention, Vucinich Prize for Distinguished Book in Slavic Studies, 1993 (for Tolstoy’s Art and Thought, 1847-1880)
  • Fellow, Harvard Russian Research Center, 1982-1983
  • International Research and Exchanges Board Fellow, 1975
  • Danforth Graduate Fellow, 1969-1974
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1969


New Form for New Ideas
Novel Study – Anna Karenina
Careers in Russian Literature
Novel Study – War and Peace
Russian Short Fiction
Russian Realism
Russia at War
Narrative and History