Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rossica Translation Short List, Big Book Long List

Finally, news about a prize for Russian-English translation! The Rossica Translation Prize named its 2009 shortlist last week. The award covers classic and contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, so the nominees are pretty diverse.

I’ve read a few of the books: M. Ageyev’s Роман с кокаином (Novel with Cocaine or Romance with Cocaine, even the Rossica site can’t decide! Translation: Hugh Aplin), Fedor Dostoevskii’s Униженные и оскорбленные (Humiliated and Insulted, translation: Ignat Avsey), and Vladimir Sorokin’s Лёд (Ice, translation: Jamey Gambrell). Of the three, I liked the mysterious Novel with Cocaine best, though it’s been a couple decades since I read it.

The other finalists are Andrei Babchenko’s Война одного солдата (One Soldier’s War, translation: Nick Allen), Viktor Pelevin’s Священная книга оборотня (The Sacred Book of the Werewolf, translation: Andrew Bromfield), Maria Galina’s Гиви и Шендерович (Iramifications, translation: Amanda Love Darragh), and Elena Shvarts’s poetry collection Birdsong on the Seabed, translation: Sasha Dugale for this bilingual book.

Summaries of the Rossica shortlist books are here, and the longlist is here.

Meanwhile, the Russian Big Book Award “experts” named a longlist of 48 books and manuscripts. Three entries are also on the National Bestseller short list: Andrei Gelasimov’s Степные боги (Steppe Gods), Sergei Nosov’s Тайная жизнь петербургские памятники (The Secret Life of Petersburg Monuments), and Aleksandr Snegirev’s Нефтяная Венера (Oil [think petroleum] Venus).

A few other books on Big Book's big list: Boris Khazanov’s Вчерашняя вечность (Yesterday’s Eternity), which won the “major prose” category in the “Russian Award” competition, and biographies of Bulat Okudzhava and Mikhail Bulgakov, written by, respectively, Dmitrii Bykov and Aleksei Varlamov. Vladimir Sorokin was nominated for a double entry, Сахарный Кремль (The Sugar Kremlin) and День опричника (The Oprichnik’s Day). Eight nominees are listed with titles but authors denoted as “Manuscript No. X.”

Novel with Cocaine (NB: Aplin's translation is not on Amazon)
The Humiliated and Insulted on Amazon
One Soldier's War on Amazon
Sacred Book of the Werewolf on Amazon
Iramifications on Amazon
Birdsong on the Seabed on Amazon
Ice on Amazon


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