Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NOSE Award Short List + Translation News + NY Events

Award season continues... The NOSE Award cut its long list of 19 books to a shortish list of nine last week. The winners will be chosen in late January 2011.

I’m still feeling slow, lazy, and confused after “fall back,” yesterday’s storm-induced power outage, and endless dreary rain – what a way to start a week! – so I’m very happy that so many of the books I mentioned in my NOSE long list post made it to the short list. Recycling is good:

Vasilii Avchenko’s Правый руль (Wheel on the Right) is a “documentary novel” about the love of drivers in the Russian Far East for used cars imported from Japan.

Publisher Vremia calls Vsevolod Benigsen’s Раяд (Raiad) social fantasy. (One of you recommended his ГенАцид to me; it’s available in a shortened form here.)

Lidiia Golovkova’s Сухановская тюрьма (Sukhanov Prison) is about a secret prison run by the NKVD and Ministry of State Security during the Soviet era; the prison was in a monastery.

Aleksei Ivanov’s Хребет России (Russia’s Spine or Russia’s Mountain Range), a book of material (essays and photos) about the Urals; the book is based on a four-part TV miniseries from Ivanov and Leonid Parfenov. (previous post about Ivanov’s Geographer)

Pavel Nerler’s Слово и "дело" Осипа Мандельштама: книга доносов, допросов и обвинительных заключений... (The Word and "Deed" [Case] of Osip Mandel'shtam: A Book of Denunciations, Interrogations, and Indictments.)

Maksim Osipov’s Грех жаловаться (literally, It’s a Sin to Complain… more Maine-ish, Can’t Complain), writings by a rural doctor. In 2007 Osipov received an award from the journal Знамя, which has published his work. Online here.

According to an online bookstore listing, Viktor Pelevin’s T (or t) involves a martial arts master named count T. and a cabbalistic demon named Ariel who claims to have created the world and (of course!) the count.

Pavel Peppershtein’s Весна (Spring) is a collection of short stories that publisher Ad Marginem describes as “psychedelic realism.”

I already read Vladimir Sorokin’s Метель (The Blizzard) (previous post).

Translation News. Translator Anna Gunin wrote to mention that her translation of German Sadulaev’s Я - чеченец! (I Am a Chechen!) was released last week; publisher is Harvill Secker… Last week Three Percent posted updated spreadsheets of new translations for 2010 and 2011; they’re available for download here, though you may want to check back soon for updated updates. I’ll wait until those appear before posting about titles I haven’t already mentioned.

Snob to Publish Nabokov Letters. The November issue of Сноб will publish a selection of Vladimir Nabokov’s letters to his wife. Here’s the online version of the article; it’s only available in full to registered site users but you can still see a photo of one of Nabokov’s letters, with a butterfly… The November issue of Snob focuses on literature, which means they’re now really trying to get me to put up the money to subscribe! Their trial deal for three free issues is still on; click here.

New York Events: If you’ll be in New York on Tuesday, November 16 at 6.30 p.m., please come to Pravda for the book launch party of Squaring the Circle: Winners of the Debut Prize for Fiction. I’ll be there, as will editor Natasha Perova of Glas and three of the writers whose stories were translated for the book. There will be readings; a discussion moderated by Eliot Borenstein, a professor of Russian and Slavic studies at NYU; and a reception. The event is free and space is limited, so register through the CEC ArtsLink Website here. (FYI: The system will pop up a confirmation window rather than sending you an e-mail message.) The Brooklyn Public Library will host a Squaring the Circle reading, too, on Sunday, November 14, at 1.30 p.m. More information is available here.

Up next: Yes, the long-suffering Matisse entry is coming soon, as is a post on Dovlatov’s Zone and Baldaev’s Drawings from the Gulag. Last night, I started rereading Voinovich’s Moscow 2042; it’s just the thing for these cold, dark November nights.


  1. The November issue of Snob focuses on literature, which means they’re now really trying to get me to put up the money to subscribe! Their trial deal for three free issues is still on; click here.

    OK, you finally pushed me over the edge; I filled out the form and am looking forward to getting the issue!

    I wish I were still in NYC; I'd definitely come.

  2. I'll be interested to hear what you think of Snob, Languagehat!