Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 2010 Russian Booker Long List

It’s July 1, which means we have a Russian Booker Prize long list. The Booker people received 95 nominations and chose 24 for the list; last year they received 82 nominations. The six-book short list will be announced on October 6, and the winner will be named on December 2.

A number of this year’s long listers are already on the 2010 Big Book short list:

Other notable books include:

  • Mariam Petrosian’s Дом, в котором... (The House in Which…), a 2009 Big Book finalist that won third prize in the readers’ vote
  • Andrei Astvatsaturov’s Люди в голом (People in the Nude), a National Bestseller finalist and NOSE finalist. (earlier post with description) Previous writing from Astvatsaturov is on Журнальный зал here.

I’m especially interested in these two books, both of which made the 2010 Big Book long list but not the cut for the short list:

  • Bakhyt Kenzheev’s Обрезание пасынков (Pruning the Shoots) because two friends have recommended it and it’s waiting for me on my shelf
  • Margarita Khemlin’s Клоцвог (Klotsvog) because I enjoyed her last book so much (previous post)

The only Booker long list book that I’ve already read is Zaionchkovskii’s Happiness Is Possible, which I thought was very good. (previous post)

The full Booker long list is online here. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s read any of the books on the list.


  1. I have read any of them, but I'm pretty excited about this year's award!

  2. Is it possible that the title of the Kenzheev book is a play on words? Both обрезание and пасынок have alternate meanings, and the former is something you can do to the latter.

  3. Alex, it's funny that you mention that because I've wondered the exact same thing. A friend who read the book thought the Pruning translation fit but she had also joked about the name before she read the book. I plan to read it fairly soon.

    Deisoca, I'm glad to know you're already enjoying the Booker this year!

  4. I am in the process of reading Люди в голом by Андрей Аствацатуров thanks to your blog. (Russians in the novel, which is written like a series of personal reminiscences, have trouble pronouncing the author's last name) The author recounts anecdotes from his life, including one that touches on the title of this book. A Vietnamese student studying in the Soviet Union learns the phrase женщина в синем, женщина в черном, и т.д. He logically concludes that женщина в голом is a correct Russian phrase. Evidently it is not used but голая женщина is. This is a long introduction to my observation that this is a very humorous novel/fictionalized (how much?) memoir that I now understand has a humorous title.

  5. Thank you, my reading, for the informative comment! I wondered about the title so was glad you explained it. Ah, the phrases we nonnative speakers dream up! I hope you enjoy the book: I almost bought it (twice) so will be interested to hear what you think of it.