Photo of D. Orwin smiling

Donna Orwin

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




121 St. Joseph Street, Room 415



Research Interests

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


Ph.D., Harvard University 1979
M.A., Harvard University 1971
B.A., magna cum laude, Cornell University 1969

Awards and Distinctions

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

Selected 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.


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





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