I love lists—particularly when they catalogue contemporary
Russian fiction—so wanted to be sure to post two lists of Zakhar Prilepin’s
favorite books and stories from the noughties before I forget their existence.
Both lists appear online and both are taken from Prilepin’s new book, Книгочёт. There’s an interesting mix here: several writers I’d never heard of, a clump of books that didn’t grab me, some unread items on my shelf, and writers I’ve enjoyed very much. Several books and stories have even been translated. The lists are long, so I’ll keep the commentary short… but I’m always happy to hear recommendations!
- Aleksei Ivanov’s Блудо и МУДО (I’ve seen the title rendered as Cheap Porn). Waiting on my shelf... I’m a little scared of this one because of high expectations. Like Prilepin, I thought Ivanov’s Geographer was good (previous post) but not great.
- Aleksandr Kuznetsov-Tulianin’s Язычник (The Heathen or The Pagan)—Kuznetsov-Tulianin is a new name for me. Журнальный зал calls this an ethnographic novel.
- Mikhail Gigolashvili’s Чёртово колесо (The Devil’s Wheel)—One of my own big, big favorites (previous post). I just love this book.
- Vladimir “Adol’fych” Nesterenko’s Огненное погребение (literally something like Fiery Burial)—Another new name for me. Crime.
- Mikhail Shishkin’s Письмовник (Letter-Book)—Letter-Book will be out in Andrew Bromfield’s English translation in 2013 (previous post). Won the 2011 Big Book.
- Aleksandr Garros and Aleksei Evdokimov’s [Голово]ломка (Headcrusher)—2003 NatsBest winner. Also on my shelf; it never seems to appeal to me. Available in Andrew Bromfield’s translation.
- Andrei Rubanov’s Сажайте, и вырастет! (Do Time Get Time)—Andrew Bromfield translated Do Time Get Time and recommended Rubanov; alas, my usual book sites and stores never seem to have this particular book.
- Sergei Samsonov’s Аномалия Камлаева (The Kamlaev Anomaly)—I’ve only read Samsonov’s Oxygen Limit, which I thought was flawed (previous post), but Anomaly sounds better.
- Aleksandr Terekhov’s Каменный мост (The Stone Bridge)—Coming out soon from Glagoslav in Simon Patterson’s translation. Another nonfavorite, though several friends loved it.
- Dmitrii Bykov’s trilogy of Оправдание (Justification), Орфография (Orthography), and Остромов, или Ученик чародея (Ostromov, Or the Sorcerer’s Apprentice)—Though I couldn’t get through either Justification or Ostromov, which won the 2011 NatsBest, I swear I will try Orthography. Too many of you have recommended it.
- Mikhail Tarkovskii’s “Гостиница «Океан»” (“The Hotel ‘Ocean’”)—This story is in Tarkovskii’s collection that won the Yasnaya Polyana award in 2010.
- Sergei Shargunov’s Ура! (Hurrah!)—On the shelf; a small book.
- Olga Slavnikova’s “Басилевс” (“Basileus”)—In the Read Russia! anthology, translated by Andrew Bromfield. About a cat; the beginning looks great.
- German Sadulaev’s Я чеченец! (I Am a Chechen!)—Available in Anna Gunin’s English translation.
- Marina Stepnova’s “Бедная Антуанетточка” (“Poor Little Antoinette”)
- Dmitrii Danilov’s “Чёрный и зелёный” (“Black and Green”)—On my reader… hmm, maybe I’ll read this next. July 25 update: I’m thoroughly enjoying “Black and Green”; the title refers to tea.
- Roman Senchin’s “Конец сезона” (“The End of the Season”)
- Mikhail Elizarov’s “Госпиталь” (“The Hospital”)
- Il’dar Abuziarvov’s “Троллейбус, идущий на Восток” (“Trolleybus Going East”)
- Maia Kucherskaia’s “Кукушка” (“The Cuckoo”)
Up Next: St. Petersburg Noir, a story by Alexander Snegirev, and Maria Galina’s Mole Crickets, which I enjoyed quite a bit.