The site for the Russian “Big Book” awards posted news today on nominations for the 2008 season:
-371 works, totaling over 5,000 pages, were nominated
-30 percent of the nominees are from the Moscow area; 41 Russian regions and 11 other countries are also represented
-25 percent of the nominations are in manuscript form
The Big Book site includes this teaser (in my translation): “The organizers promise that the prize could present considerable surprises this season since the works of many well-known authors were nominated in manuscript form.”
The award accepts novels, story and novella collections, plus documentary prose and memoirs. The 2008 nominees include a “significant” number of “documentary-biographical” works.
Big Book’s list of 2008 nominees includes a few writers known to readers in translation:
Vladimir Voinovich, author of the “Private Chonkin” books
Vladimir Makanin, author of Escape Hatch and The Long Road Ahead
Liudmila Petrushevskaya, author of The Time: Night and Immortal Love
Others notable nominees include:
Zakhar Prilepin, known for both his writing – he’s been shortlisted for the Russian Booker – and his membership in Edward Limonov’s Nationalist Bolshevik party. (For more on Limonov’s writing and political activity, see yesterday’s “New York Times Magazine.”)
Renata Litvinova, an actress and screenwriter who seems to be everywhere, including the screen adaptation of Viktor Pelevin’s Generation P.
Big Book’s panel of experts will now sit down to read and read and read for a few months. A list of finalists will be announced in late May, and winners will be named in November.