I always enjoy book award long lists so was happy to find the 2011 Big Book long list today -- it was announced during a press conference at a Moscow pel’meni spot that Joseph Brodsky liked to frequent. The Big Book short list will be announced on May 25.
Big Book’s announcement notes that the list contains 40 books by 39 authors, many of whom are new to the Big Book universe. Mikhail Butov, who announced the list as the expert group’s chair, mentioned the presence of many young writers and praised the nominated works for (I’m paraphrasing) their liveliness and relevance to contemporary life. It’s hard to believe that Vladimir Sorokin, nominated for Метель/The Blizzard (previous post), has never even made a Big Book long list… though of course The Blizzard probably has no chance of winning the big Big Book prize because it already won the NOSE award. (Don’t even get me started on this “no repeaters” thing.) The only writer to appear on the Big Book long list for two books, Iurii Buida with Жунгли/The Jungle and Синяя кровь/Blue Blood, is also new to Big Book.
Other books that I noticed:
- Oleg Zaionchkovskii for Загул/The Drinking Binge or maybe The Bender.
- Natal’ia Kliuchareva for Деревня дураков/The Village of Fools – I enjoyed Kliuchareva’s story in the Rasskazy collection very much (previous post).
- Viktor Pelevin for Ананасная вода для прекрасной дамы/Pineapple Water for the Beautiful Lady, a collection of stories that’s Number 3 on the bestseller list today.
- Andrei Rubanov for Психодел/Psychodeal, also on the National Bestseller long list.
- Manuscript No. 163, Овсянки/Yellowhammers – this has to be Denis Osokin’s book… it was presented at the London Book Fair. The book has already been adapted into a film, known in English as Silent Souls. Based on a film review I read, it sounds excellent.
- Andrei Astvatsaturov’s Скунскамера/Skunkskamera, also on the National Bestseller longlist.
The long list includes several other books I’ve already read:
- Olga Slavnikova’s Легкая голова/Light Headed (previous post)
- Margarita Khemlin’s Крайний (previous post)
- Mikhail Shishkin’s Письмовник/Letter-Book (previous post)
- Liudmila Ulitskaya’s Зелёный шатёр/The Green Tent, which is Number 5 on today’s bestseller list.
There are two authors on the list that I’ve been meaning to read for ages – Daniil Granin (Всё было не совсем так/That’s Not Quite How It All Was) and Marina Palei (Хор/The Chorus) – plus lots of names that are either new for me or only vaguely familiar. Which is exactly why I think long lists are so much fun.