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Contact: Contact: Dr. Earle Labor, Wilson Professor of American Literature, elabor@centenary.edu; Kelsey Bellamy Johnson or Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Centenary Alumna, Faculty, Staff Members Make Literary Contributions to New Jack London Translation

SHREVEPORT, LA- Jack London enthusiast and scholar Dr. Vil Bykov first published his personal memoir, In the Steps of Jack London, in his native language—Russian. Now, thanks to the contributions of Centenary graduate Julia Istomina, Class of '98, Wilson Professor of American Literature Dr. Earle Labor and the secretarial aid of Becky Palmer of the Centenary English Department, this book is available in English.

"Vil Bykov's book being available for the entire English-speaking world is a big event for anyone who has any remote connection with or interest in Jack London's life and work." says Istomina, who assisted in the translation of Bykov's memoir.

Istomina, having grown up in Russia, found herself attracted to the writings of London and the research of Vil Bykov from an early age. While attending Centenary College, her English professor, Dr. Labor, sought Istomina's help in translating Bykov's memoir, which documents the author's half-century quest to uncover information about London's life.

"My goal during the translation process was to preserve Dr. Bykov’s voice – his manner of writing, speech, expressions, idioms, metaphors, etc.," Istomina says.

The 41-chapter book describes Bykov's journey to where London lived and wrote, his interactions with London’s descendants and new details of London’s biography, including the circumstances of London's sudden death.

Dr. Labor, renowned London scholar, served as one of the book's co-editors, along with Professors Susan Nuernberg of the University of Wisconsin/Oshkosh and Hensley Woodbridge of Southern Illinois University. Labor explains that Bykov enlisted his editorial help in the English translation project, having been long-time friends in the world of London research.

"We've been corresponding pretty regularly for nearly 40 years, exchanging books as well as letters. Several of his books, inscribed to me personally, are on permanent display in [Centenary's] Jack London Museum at the Peters Building [on Centenary's campus]," says Labor.

Having been completed in June 2003, the English translation of Bykov's celebrated memoir can be found, posted in its entirety, on the Jack London's Ranch Album: A Pictorial Biography web site: http://www.jacklondons.net/additions.html.

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