|Happy birthday (new style) to Andrei Bely!|
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I always seem to forget how many awards are awarded each autumn! I’m especially slow on the uptake this year… Beyond lots of translating, there’s been lots of book and bookshelf moving around here, though I have to admit that moving books is an oddly pleasant distraction, at least in small doses.
This year’s Yasnaya Polyana “XXI Century” award went to Arsen Titov for Тень Бехистунга (Behistun’s Shadow? The Shadow of Behistun?), a big, old-fashioned historical novel, apparently a trilogy, set during World War I. The “Childhood, Adolescence, Youth” award went to Roman Senchin for Чего вы хотите? (I’ll go with Whaddya Want?), which sounds like a very personal book—one of the three pieces is written from his daughter’s perspective—about growing up in contemporary Russia. The “Contemporary Classic” award went to Boris Yekimov for his 1999 long story/novella Pinochet. For more (in Russian) on this year’s winners: Lenta, ReadRate, and Prosto biblioblog.
The 2014 Bely Prize prose winner is Aleksei Tsvetkov, for Король утопленников (King of the Drowned). This book features prose texts arranged by size: the first takes up less than half a page, the last is around 80 pages long. Though the ordering of the stories seems gimmicky, the book looks rather appealing. King of the Drowned has already made the long list for the NOS(E) award; it was not written by the poet named Aleksei Tsvetkov. The Bely site includes names of winners in other award categories, including humanitarian research, translation, and criticism. The Bely shortlist is also available here; I somehow missed it when it was announced in September. The only shortlisted book I’ve read is a prose finalist: Serhij Zhadan’s absorbing Voroshilovgrad, which I read in Zaven Babloyan’s translation from the original Ukrainian.
Disclaimers: The usual.
Up Next: Books galore… Evgeny Vodolazkin’s first novel, Solovyov and Larionov, Marina Stepnova’s Italian Lessons, and Viktor Remizov’s Ashes and Dust. Plus a small pile of books I’ve been reading in English.