Arch Tait learned Russian at Latymer Upper School, London; Trinity Hall, Cambridge; and Moscow State University. He has a PhD in Russian literature from Cambridge and began translating in earnest in 1986 after a meeting with Valentina Jacques, then editor of the magazine Soviet Literature. From 1993 he was the UK editor of the Glas New Russian Writing translation series, whose editor in chief was Valentina's successor, Natasha Perova. To date he has translated twenty books, thirty-five short stories, and thirty articles by most of the leading Russian writers of today. His translation of Anna Politkovskaya’s Putin’s Russia won the inaugural English PEN Literature in Translation Prize in 2010.