Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Russian Booker Prize Finalists for 2016

The Russian Booker Prize announced its six-book shortlist today. The winners—of both the regular prize and the English-language translation prize—will be announced on December 1. Here, very quickly, are the finalists, in Russian alphabetical author order:
  • Pyotr Aleshkovsky for Крепость (The Citadel), which is also a Big Book Award finalist. It’s waiting patiently on the shelf for me.
  • Sukhbat Aflatuni for Поклонение волхвов (The Adoration of the Magi), which is also a Yasnaya Polyana Award finalist.
  • Sergei Lebedev for Люди августа (People of August).
  • Alexander Melikhov for И нет им воздаяния (They Get No Recompense/No Recompense for Them were my title translation guesses when this book made the Booker long list in 2012, hmm, how did that happen? I knew there was something familiar about this title…).
  • Boris Minaev for his two-book Мягкая ткань: Батист (part 1) (part 2) (Batiste) and Сукно (Broadcloth or something similar, a heavyish fabric, often woolen). This one’s a Yasnaya Polyana finalist, too, and it’s also on my shelf.
  • Leonid Yuzefovich for Зимняя дорога (The Winter Road), which already won the National Bestseller Award and made the short lists for the Big Book and Yasnaya Polyana Awards, too. This “documentary novel” about the Civil War is very absorbing.

Up Next: Moscow trip report. American Literary Translators Association conference trip report. Alexander Snegirev’s Vera/Faith and Oleg Zaionchkovsky’s Timosha’s Prose.

Disclaimers: The usual. I’ve received copies, in various formats, of several titles on this list.


  1. И нет им воздаяния is from Ecclesiastes 9:5 (Russian, English), so I would translate it "Neither Have They a Reward" (being a King James fan).

    1. A belated thank you for this comment, Languagehat. I should outsource titles to you!

    2. My pleasure! I have a sixth sense for allusive titles.

    3. Yes, you do! (And oops, my late response to your last comment was a reminder that I now moderate comments after a spate of spammy stuff.)