Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Russian Booker 2012 Short List

The 2012 Russian Booker finalists were announced today. Six books made the list:

  • Marina Akhmedova: Дневник смертницы. Хадижа (Khadija, Notes of a Death Girl)
  • Andrei Dmitriev: Крестьянин и тинейджер (The Peasant and the Teenager)
  • Evgenii Popov: Арбайт, или Широкое полотно (Arbeit, Or A Wide Canvas)
  • Olga Slavnikova: Легкая голова (Light Head)—previous post
  • Marina Stepnova: Женщины Лазаря (Lazar(us)’s Women)
  • Aleksandr Terekhov: Немцы ([The?] Germans)
I’ll write soon about the Stepnova book and plan to read Dmitriev’s novel next. I’m in Rochester, NY, for a few days for the American Literary Translators Association conference.

Up next: Yasnaya Polyana winners, maybe an ALTA trip report, Marina Stepnova’s Lazar(us) and all his women, Andrei Rubanov’s short stories, and Zaven Babloyan’s Ukrainian-to-Russian translation of Serhij Zhadan’s strange Voroshilovgrad journey, which has me reading The Wizard of Oz… 


  1. Based on the objective criteria of least similarity between Russian title and English translation of said title, Ms. Akhmedova wins hands down: The word count isn't even close. I mean does Russian have a single word for death girl? Pretty cool. Pretty noir. LOL

    1. russell1200, I wondered if anyone would ask about this title! This is one of the titles the writer's agent uses... the other is Diary of a female suicide-bomber. And yes, there's one word in Russian for a female suicide-bomber/death girl. I haven't read the book yet so am not sure which term might fit best, at least imho. (And I hope this makes sense... it's been a great but fatiguing day at the translation conference!)

  2. Interesting, didn't know there was anything worthwhile to read in contemporary Ukrainian writing. It's an even more niche area than English recensions of contemporary Russian lit. The Internet needs a Lizok's Книжна Поличка!

    1. Alex, I wish there were a Книжна Поличка! I don't know much about what's happening in contemporary Ukrainian fiction but maybe I'll check in with a few people I know read and/or translate Ukrainian... it might be fun to put together a post about the subject.

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