Monday, June 7, 2010

Kochergin Wins 2010 NatsBest Award

Eduard Kochergin won the 2010 National Bestseller Award for Крещенные крестами (Baptized with Crosses), an autobiographical novel about Kochergin’s post-war experiences running away from a home in Omsk for children of enemies of the people. An excerpt is available here.

Kochergin’s book and Oleg Lukoshin’s Капитализм (Capitalism) tied with two votes each, and Konstantin Tublin, honorary chairman of the jury, broke the deadlock by voting for Kochergin. Ironically, Kochergin and Lukoshin racked up the smallest point totals – five and six, respectively – in the previous round of voting. More insight into the voting and the book is available here, in English, on Voice of Russia; here, in Russian, on; and here, in Russian, on the NatsBest Web site. My summary of the NatsBest short list is here.

On a related note: Anne Applebaum’s “Angel Factories,” a New Republic (June 10, 2010) review of Children of the Gulag, by Cathy A. Frierson and Semyon S. Vilensky (Yale University Press), is worth reading for its brief accounts of the lives of children living within the Soviet prison camp system. (If you’d like to read the article but can’t access it, send me a note and I’ll e-mail it to you.)


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