Credit: Florence Montmare

Laura’s debut essay collection, For Single Mothers Working as Train Conductors, was awarded the 2017 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction and published by the University of Iowa Press in 2018. She is currently working on her second book, entitled Super-Pricey Royal Blue French Lace Bra.

Her writing has been honored with the 2017 Notting Hill Essay Prize,
published in leading literary venues on both sides of the Atlantic, and cited in The Best American Essays. She is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony (2018) and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (2017). She holds an MFA from the New School and lives in New York City.

She served for many years as the interpreter for Russian-speaking authors at the PEN World Voices Festival and as a PEN prison writing mentor. She has had a long career as an interpreter and translator, working from Russian, French and Spanish to English.

She translated Stalin’s Secret Pogrom (Yale University Press, 2001), on the events leading up to the Night of the Murdered Poets. The book went on to win the National Jewish Book Award for Eastern European history.

Follow her on Twitter at @EstherLaura.

Read here about her experiences learning Russian and working as a Russian linguist: Laura Esther Wolfson.