Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big Book’s Long 2010 Short List &tc.

2010 Big Book Finalists. The Big Book award people issued their short-but-long list of 14 finalists today. The jury has plenty of time to read: the winners won’t be named until November.

The finalists are:

I have Zaionchkovskii’s book on my shelf and am looking forward to reading it soon – somehow, it looks very inviting. Several of these books appear to have been published only in journal form thus far. Speaking of “thick” journals, which are the first to publish so much of Russia’s best literary fiction, I was excited to see several shelves of journals at the Seattle Public Library when I visited last weekend.

Edit: The Комсомольская правда Web site has brief summaries of each writer’s bio plus full texts of each book online. You can get started here.

A New Blog. And a bit of news from Washington State: Jamie Olson, who translates Russian poetry into English and teaches in the English Department at Saint Martin’s University, started a blog about Russian poetry, The Flaxen Wave.

Book Expo America. After missing out on the London Book Fair I decided to go to Book Expo America next week. My agenda will include learning more about Akashic’s short story collection Moscow Noir, due out this summer, and getting a progress report from Overlook on the English translation of Liudmila Ulitskaya’s Daniel Stein, Translator (previous post).

Coming Up. I’m a little behind in writing about books I’ve read… I’ll be posting soon about Mikhail Bulgakov’s Театральный роман (known in English as Black Snow: A Theatrical Novel and A Dead Man’s Memoir: A Theatrical Novel) plus Boris Akunin’s Весь мир театр (All the World’s a Theater/Stage). I didn’t love either one, but I finished them, unlike Vladimir Makanin’s Иsпуг (Fear or Fright).


  1. As always, thanks for the informative roundup, and thanks especially for the link to Jamie's new blog; I'm looking forward to reading it.

    As for андерманир штук, Google Books turns up some hits that makes your translation look plausible: "А вот, извольте посмотреть, андерманир штук — другой вид"; "А вот, извольте видеть, господа, андерманир штук хороший вид, город Кострома горит, у забора мужик стоит"; "А вот андерманир-штук — Бонапарт на тулуп меняет сюртук со стужи да кушак подтянул потуже." I presume it's from German: andere Manier Stück "another sort of thing."

  2. Thanks, Languagehat, for corroborating the translation of that odd phrase. (All I did was interpolate based on the Kelly article.)

    I'm also looking forward to reading Jamie's blog -- I read far too little contemporary poetry so will be glad to read his recommendations.

  3. Moscow Noir is out now - look for it in a library near you!

  4. Indeed it is out now, thank you, Shelley! Oddly, the publisher site lists it as "forthcoming July 2010" on the page for the book itself and "brand new release" on the Noir series page.

    I'm curious: have any of you read any of the books from the Noir Series?

  5. Thanks for the plug! And I'll have to take a look at the collection of Russian "fat" journals next time I'm up at the library in Seattle. Isn't that a beautiful space?

  6. You're welcome, Jamie! I was very happy to read that you'd started the blog. I hope you'll enjoy writing it.

    The most recent journals in the Seattle library were about a year or so old -- the last Звезда, for example, was the issue from last year with Chizhova's Время женщин -- but they were on paper rather than online so it was wonderful to see them!

    The library certainly is a beautiful space, and it was a treat to stay across the street so I could visit more than once. There are so many features (and books, of course) to discover that I could have spent days there. I particularly enjoyed looking at the floor in the foreign-language book section, with phrases carved as mirror images in various languages.

    Speaking of books at the Seattle Public Library, I ran across a graphic novel, Nikolai Maslov's Siberia, translated by Blake Ferris and published by Soft Skull Press. I had no idea it existed. It looked interesting, and I was sorry I only had time to flip through a few of the pages.