This year’s Big Book Award long list,
which came out last week, looks like a good one: beyond the four books I’ve
already read and enjoyed very much, there are a couple books I wish I’d bought
in Moscow, plus a nice clump of titles I’m interested in. There are 36 books on
the list, meaning it’s
a bit way too long to include everybody here. But
here are some notes:
Four books I’ve already read and loved, with English-language titles linking to previous posts:
- Evgenii Vodolazkin: Лавр (Laurus). I’m appreciating the stark beauty of this book even more as I translate some excerpts. Already on the 2013 NatsBest short list.
- Dmitrii Danilov: Описание города (Description of a City). I was excited to give a copy of this book to a friend recently—I’ll be happy if she likes it half as much as I did. (No pressure, C!)
- Margarita Khemlin: Дознаватель (The Investigator). I still can’t believe how much action, emotion, and tension Khemlin packs into this book.
- Ekaterina Sherga: Подземный корабль (The Underground Ship). A very deserving debut novel.
- Maxim Kantor: Красный свет (Red Light, though “свет” can also mean “world,” so I suspect dual meaning here). A novel with lots of twentieth-century history. NatsBest short list.
- Aleksei Motorov: Юные годы медбрата Паровозова (Male Nurse Parovozov’s Young Years). Autobiographical fiction that won the readers’ prize in the 2013 NOSE award.
- Aleksandr Terekhov: Немцы (Germans). Won the 2012 NatsBest. On the shelf for ages!
- Aleksandr Arkhangel’skii: Музей революции (Museum of the Revolution).
- Maia Kucherskaia: Тетя Мотя (Aunt Motya).
- Iurii Buida: Вор, шпион и убийца (Thief, Spy, and Murderer).
- Alisa Ganieva: Праздничная гора (Holiday Mountain).
- Aleksandr Ilichevskii: Город заката (City of Sunset).
- Sergei Beliakov: Гумилев сын Гумилева (excerpts) (Gumilev, Son of Gumilev).
- Valerii Esipov: Шаламов (Shalamov).
- Iakov Gordin: Алексей Ермолов (Aleksei Ermolov).
- Irina Rodnina: Cлеза чемпионки (The Champion’s Tear).
- Elena Makarova: Фридл (Friedl, which a reader tells me is a diminutive for names such as Friedrich and Friederike... the character in the book is a woman but it doesn’t appear that her full name is in the text.). The online “title page” says this is a documentary novel, and the first page clearly shows a World War 2 setting.
- Andrei Volos: Возвращение в Панчруд (excerpts) (Return to Panjrud). Volos, who is originally from Dushanbe, often writes about Central Asia. His agent’s site says this novel is about a poet in the Middle Ages.
- Nikolai Klimontovich: Степанов и Князь (Stepanov and the Prince).
- Anton Ponizovskii: Обращение в слух (For the Ears? I get the feeling of something intended to be heard…). The quick description from the publisher: a novel about Russia and the Russian soul. The book’s Web site doesn’t explain much more, though the journal intro says the novel includes actual interviews.