Thursday, January 26, 2017

NOSE Award Goes to Boris Lego, a.k.a. Oleg Zobern

The NOSE Award was presented to Boris Lego on Tuesday for his Сумеречные рассказы (Dusky Stories or Twilight Stories), a book I described in previous posts as “a collection of nineteen Russian Gothic stories; a cover blurb calls it the scariest book of the year…” One NOSE juror apparently called the stories “trash” during (public) deliberations; that cheery note, and others, are here, on the Год литературы site.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story for those who read Russian literature in English translation is that Boris Lego is a pseudonym for Oleg Zobern, a name I’ve known since his story “Шестая дорожка Бреговича” (“Bregovich’s Sixth Journey” scroll down), appeared in the anthology Rasskazy, in Keith Gessen’s translation. I wrote about Rasskazy here.

The winner of reader voting was Igor Sakhnovsky’s Свобода по умолчанию, (Freedom by Default, I guess?), which was on the NOSE longlist but not the shortlist.

For more on the NOSE Award debates that determined the winner, check out Konstantin Milchin’s article for TASS. Apparently Sergei Kuznetsov’s Kaleidoscope was also a favorite with jurors and the expert panel. I’ve been enjoying Kaleidoscope very much and, given some of the weak finalists I read (or attempted to read) for the Big Book, I’m very surprised (I think even “shocked” would fit) Kaleidoscope didn’t make more shortlists. For more on the NOSE, here’s Elena Rybakova for Colta, in which she praises the shortlisted books by Kobrin, Kuznetsov, and Petrova but doesn’t even mention the winner. 

Up Next: Alexander Snegirev’s Vera.

Disclaimers: The usual plus much of my translation work is funded by grants, including from the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation's Transcript Program. The NOSE Award is also a program of the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation.


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