Marshall, Bonnie C. 1941- (Bonnie Carey)

views updated

MARSHALL, Bonnie C. 1941-
(Bonnie Carey)

PERSONAL: Born June 9, 1941, in Concord, NH; daughter of Sumner E. and Agnes (McNeil) Marshall; children: Lorrie Jean, Peter Dean Carey. Education: Boston University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1962; Assumption College M.A.T., 1966; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D., 1983; certificates from Moscow State University, 1975, Leningrad State University, 1985, and Herzen Pedagogical Institute, 1989, 1990.

ADDRESSES: Home and offıce—PO Box 1447, Meredith, NH 03253.

CAREER: Literary translator, poet, scholar, teacher, and folklorist. Hale High School Raleigh, NC, teacher of Russian and English, 1972-80; visiting positions at Duke University, 1980, Wake Forest University, 1982, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, 1982, College of the Holy Cross, 1984-85, University of Montana, 1983-84, 1985-86, and University of South Alabama, 1987-88; Davidson College, Davidson, NC, assistant professor of Russian (developed Russian program), 1988-93; ACTR resident director of summer program for Russian teachers in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1989-90; School for Global Education, St. Petersburg, English instructor, 1994; American Academy of Foreign Languages, Moscow, Russia, instructor, 1995-96; Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, NC, adjunct associate professor of Russian and curriculum coordinator of Russian program and distance learning, 1992, 2000-02.

MEMBER: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, American Women in Slavic Studies, Russian-American Cultural Center (member, board of directors, 1998—), Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (student award committee executive council member, 1994-95), Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Chicago Book Clinic award, 1974, for Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories; Search behind the Lines nominated for Mildred Batchelder Award, 1976; ACTR research grant,1991, 1993.


as bonnie carey; except as noted

(Adapter and translator) Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories, illustrated by Guy Fleming, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1973.

(Translator) Yevgeny Ryss, Search behind the Lines, Morrow (New York, NY), 1974.

(Translator) Anatoli Aleksin, Alik the Detective, Morrow (New York, NY), 1977.

(Translator) Grasshopper to the Rescue, illustrated by Lady McCrady, Morrow (New York, NY), 1979.

(Reteller, as Bonnie C. Marshall) Tales from the Heart of the Balkans, Libraries Unlimited (Littleton, CO), 2001.

Translator of plays Vassilissa the Beautiful by Catherine Chernyak, and The Scarlet Flower by L. Brausevich and I. Karnaukhova; contributor of translations to periodicals, including Jack and Jill, Christian Science Monitor, Fiction, Bee Hive, Daisy, and Serb World; contributor of poetry to Long View Journal, Poet Lore, Twigs, Teens Today, and Hearthstone; contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including World Literature Today.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Adaptation and retelling The White Swan and Other Stories from Russia.

SIDELIGHTS: Bonnie C. Marshall, formerly working under the name Bonnie Carey, is a Russian-language scholar who has blended her research and linguistic skills with translation to publish several books of Russian and Balkan folk tales and myths, including Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories, Grasshopper to the Rescue, and 2001's Tales from the Heart of the Balkans. Marshall noted to CA that her longtime desire has been to expose "American youth to the folklore and children's literature of Russia and the former Yugoslavia." With the opening of those countries in the 1990s, her work was made easier. "Since it is only within recent years that oral traditions have been recorded for many of the Russian and South Slavic ethnic groups, it is exciting to be involved in pioneering efforts to render new folk tales into English."

Born in 1941, Marshall was raised on a farm in New England, imbibing the folk and fairy tales of her native region in both their oral and written forms. Books were Marshall's connection to a bigger world, and soon she had graduated from folk tales to mysteries, and from there to French literature and on to Russian literature. She was eleven years old when she first tried her hand at poetry. Her high school years were spent in the small New Hampshire town of Penacook, named after a Native American tribe. During this time she developed an interest in Native American lore and the tales of women such as Hannah Duston, a white woman who was said to not only have eluded her Indian captors, but to have scalped them, as well.

Graduating from high school, Marshall attended Boston University, Assumption College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying both Russian literature and language. While earning her doctorate she studied in the Soviet Union at Moscow State University in 1975; she attended Leningrad State University in 1985. Marshall has often traveled in Russia, researching and teaching. Additionally, she has developed several Russian language programs in the United States.

Marshall began publishing children's books in 1973, with a translation and adaptation about the famous Russian folk character Baba Yaga. With Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories Marshall presents the classic Russian witch who flies through the air accompanied by her flock of geese. Marshall added other folk tales, including one about a bear who enjoys playing blind man's bluff, an aged mushroom who instructs a young girl in the virtues of patience, and the tale of two frogs. Her collection includes not only folk tales, but also fables, original stories, and even riddles translated from the Russian that add an "unusual dimension" to the collection, in the opinion of a contributor for Booklist. That same reviewer also praised the "short, lively [selections] abounding with folk wit and wisdom." Martha L. Savage, reviewing the book in Library Journal, called it an "interesting collection."

Marshall enlarged upon her writing skills with plays for children's theater and by storytelling. A translation of one Russian children's play, Vassilissa the Beautiful, was performed in North Carolina schools during the early 1970s as part of a cultural enrichment project. Marshall, now a grandmother, continues to tell stories in local schools and libraries in her native New Hampshire, where she returned to live after raising her two children.

Book publication has also continued to form a part of Marshall's creative efforts. Grasshopper to the Rescue is the translation of a cumulative Georgian story about an ant who falls into a river and is ultimately saved by his friend, the grasshopper. However, first the grasshopper must get acorns for the pig before he will fetch bristles so that the grasshopper can weave a rope to throw to the ant. Before the grasshopper can get the oak tree to give up his acorns, the insect must scare the raven out of the branches of the tree. And this is just the beginning of the grasshopper's travails, but ultimately he does succeed in helping the ant. Denise M. Wilms, reviewing the title for Booklist, found the repetition in the story "overextended," but also noted that the "droll pictures keep things moving fast enough to satisfy." Writing in School Library Journal, Patricia Dooley had similar concerns, finding the text "too jerky and clause-ridden," but also noting that the "narrative does make its point."

Over twenty years passed until Marshall's next children's book publication, Tales from the Heart of the Balkans, a "diverse collection," according to Donna L. Scanlon in School Library Journal. Marshall provides a brief outline to the history of the Balkans and also information on the oral tradition of the region. Her assortment includes both folk and fairy tales, which could work either for independent reading or for group reading and storytelling. Scanlon felt that readers who got beyond what she found to be an unattractive cover "will be well rewarded." "For me, life and scholarship have always been inseparable facets of the same coin," Marshall concluded to CA. "My approach to literature, too, has been a combination of the spontaneity of a creative artist and an analytical scholar. My efforts, in general, are always focused on undeveloped areas, because to work in such areas is a true adventure."



Booklist, January 1, 1974, review of Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories, p. 487; March 15, 1979, Denise M. Wilms, review of Grasshopper to the Rescue, p. 1156.

Citizen, November 30, 2001, Bea Lewis, "Meredith Author Completes New Bbook," p. D1.

Library Journal, November 15, 1973, Martha L. Savage, review of Baba Yaga's Geese and Other Russian Stories, p. 3448.

News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 22, 1973, Mary Day Mordecai, "Folk Tale Brought to Life for Americans by Raleigh Translator"; November 11, 1973, Ardia Kimzey, "Raleigh Author's 'Folk Book of the Year.'"

School Library Journal, April, 1979, Patricia Dooley, review of Grasshopper to the Rescue, p. 41; October, 1984, Ann Donovan, review of Search behind the Lines, p. 108; February, 2002, Donna L. Scanlon, review of Tales from the Heart of the Balkans, p. 124.

Sunday Concord Monitor (Concord, NH), October 10, 1993, p. B3.

About this article

Marshall, Bonnie C. 1941- (Bonnie Carey)

Updated About content Print Article


Marshall, Bonnie C. 1941- (Bonnie Carey)