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Alexander Volkov

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Volkov
Alexander Melentyevich Volkov
(14 July 1891 – 3 July 1977) was a Russian mathematician and novelist; he introduced Oz to Russian readers. He is one of the most prominent figures in what has been called the Alternate Oz literature.

Volkov made a very free translation and adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that was published in the Soviet Union in 1939. In Volkov's version, titled The Wizard of the Emerald City, Dorothy is named "Ellie" and Oz is "Magic Land" or "Goodwinia." Volkov's book proved popular with its Russian audience, and after World War II Volkov added five sequels of his own, which borrowed liberally from Baum's books while injecting abundant original material.

The six Tales of Magic Land books are:

  • The Wizard of the Emerald City (1939)
  • Urfin Jus and His Wooden Soldiers (1963)
  • The Seven Underground Kings (1964)
  • The Fiery God of the Marrans (1968)
  • The Yellow Fog (1970)
  • The Secret of the Deserted Castle (1982).

Other Russian writers — Sergei Sukhinov, Yuri Kuznetzov, Leonid Vladimirsky (Volkov's illustrator), and Nikolai Bachnow among others — have carried on with Volkov's work, to create an alternative Oz literature. In turn, March Laumer and Chris Dulabone have adapted and translated two of Volkov's books into English language versions.

Volkov's Magic Land series is widely read in the countries of the former Soviet Bloc, and in China and in some Arab states; in much of the world his work is better known than Baum's.

Volkov's books have been given faithful English translations by Peter Blystone.

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