The Girl Nothing Happens To

Suppose you like reading cold war era sci-fi/fantasy from the old USSR. Suppose you have been pining for such a book to read this holiday season. Suppose you want to read the said book in Malayalam. Suppose you don’t mind bootleg editions with totally questionable copyright ownership. I have you totally covered!

“The Girl Nothing Happens To”

The Girl Nothing Happens To: Adventures of 21st-century Alice - Told by Her Father is a collection of short stories by Russian author Kirill Bulychyov (1934-2003, wikipedia article).

My 1984 copy of the Malayalam translation, published by Social Scientist Press, Trivandrum, is in tatters – it literally crumbles on touch. (Our thatched house in Wayanad leaked a lot during the rains. Our tiny bookshelf took some of the damage, so this was inevitable.) My father signed it with the date presumably on or around the time he bought it – December 15, 1984. It was translated to Malayalam by Abu – evidently so, because I lost that part of the book. It was sold at the royal price of 4 Indian Rupees.

Behold these worn pages

I thought this translation should somehow live on, and so I’m trying to preserve this the way I best know. This effort is not authorized by the author or the translator.

I found an English translation here, translated from Russian by Gladys Evans, and published by Mir Publishers in 1973, with has different illustrations by another artist (Evgeni Tihonovich Migunov).

I could find pretty much nothing about Social Scientist Press in the Internet, except a reference to them in T M Thomas Isaac’s CV: he evidently published The World Bank and IMF in 1998 with them. I have written to him to see if he knows whereabouts of anyone associated with Social Scientist Press. I have not heard anything back yet.

The USSR and Mir Publishers are now long gone; Kirill Bulychyov died in 2003; I would hazard a guess that Social Scientist Press is no longer in business, and that it is going to be really hard to find a translator whose name is simply “Abu”.

Nevertheless, I would like to attribute this correctly and properly, and ask for forgiveness and/or permission from the rightful owners of this work. If you can help me trace back to them, please let me know!

The sources of my transcription lives in a friendly neighborhood git repository. If there is sufficient interest in this thing, I will try to post scans somewhere. If you find instances of glaring errors or misspellings, please let me know, or send patches or pull requests or whatever it is that the cool kids are up to these days.

Proceed to read: ഒന്നും പറ്റാത്ത പെണ്‍കുട്ടി.

(Posted on December 20, 2014.)