Translation – Scarlet Sails

I’m bilingual, English and Russian, and I wanted to offer my readers one of my favorite stories by the Russian writer Alexander Grin. His novella Scarlet Sails, first published in 1923, is very popular in Russia. It’s lyrical and romantic and almost magical. Translating it was the labor of love and my tribute to the author. I put it on Wattpad, for anyone to read.

You can read it here.

The genre of this short book, only seven chapters, is hard to define. There is no overt magic there, so it’s not a typical fantasy, but the story takes place in a world made up by the author, so it’s not realistic either. In fact, most Grin’s stories occur in the same imaginary land his fans call Grinlandia.
Grinlandia vaguely resembles Europe sometime in the 19th century. Not one specific country but an amalgam of the European glamor and mystery, as seen through the eyes of a Russian writer who never traveled to Europe. It feels far removed from the dreary reality of post-revolutionary Russia, the time when Grin wrote his stories.

Cover image by Victoria Borodinova from Pixabay.



10 Responses to Translation – Scarlet Sails

  1. Dana Alexander says:

    How lovely, Olga. I look forward to reading it (fellow ‘She Writer’). 🙂

  2. Great idea Olga, and you have certainly contributed to cross-cultural understanding through your love of literature.

  3. Pingback: Scarlet Sails ~ Alexander Grin | Silk Screen Views

  4. Iris L. Sardella says:

    Oh, how beautiful you are Olga. You have made me fall in love with Russia ! Thank you so much for sharing your blog and translation of Scarlet Sails !

  5. Hi, Olga Godim, Thanks a lot for your beautiful blog and contribution to the world literature. I like your style of interpretation of “Crimson Sails” by Alexander Grin, my favourite Russian writer since my childhood. If you have a chance, go to my blog “” and maybe you will like it too. Best regards and wishes all the best in your creative carreer.
    Sincerely yours,
    Valentina Filina-pattison

  6. Denise Covey says:

    Olga, how wonderful that you have translated this book so we can read it. In my hurly-burly life, wattpad has dropped off my radar, but I hope to pick it up one day soon! Right now I’m writing my crazy butt off and loving every minute. Got to go with the flow! 🙂

  7. Ed james says:

    Hello Olga , firstly thankyou. I had not actually heard of Alexander Grin until I ,by chance met a beautiful Russian lady called Alissa .we started chatting and she explained that she was a student of philology. She began to tell me of the Scarlet sails . I immediately googled a translation and arrived at yours within the first ten seconds of her reading it to me ; I had fallen in love with the story and also with her,so thankyou for your beautiful translation. If Alissa had not read it to me I would not have fallen in love with the most beautiful woman I have ever seen

  8. Maya says:

    Dear Olga, I was looking for English translation of Scarlet Sails for my daughter. I was so happy finding your blog – you did an amazing contribution so Russian families living abroad could have a chance introducing their children to Russian literature. However , sadly I can not open the link with the translation. Please could you send it to my email address :

    Many thanks!!

  9. Maya says:

    Hello Olga, please advise – your link doesn’t work. Looking forward to make my daughter to read this beautiful story. Thank you for your translation!! That is an amazing idea and hardwork!

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