Sunday, May 29, 2011

Prilepin Wins SuperNatsBest

Today Zakhar Prilepin’s Грех (Sin) won a special edition National Bestseller Award, the SuperNatsBest; the shortlist consisted of NatsBest winners from the past 10 years. The SuperNatsBest celebrates the prize’s tenth anniversary. Prilepin received a staggering $100,000 for Sin, a novel in short stories/collection of linked stories that won the NatsBest in 2008. The 2011 NatsBest winner will be announced on June 5.

I read Sin in 2008 and enjoyed it very much, despite my usual (and admittedly irrational) preference for novels over short stories. Three of 11 SuperNatsBest jury members – politician Irina Khakamada, writer and political activist Edward Limonov, and writer Leonid Yuzefovich – voted for Sin.

I’ve only read and finished two other books on the list: Andrei Gelasimov’s Steppe Gods (previous post) and Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair (previous post), both of which are scheduled for release in English translation in 2012 from, respectively, Amazon Crossing and Open Letter. Marian Schwartz is translating both books.

I have a lot of other NatsBest winners on my shelves: Il’ia Boiashov’s Путь Мури (I think the intention is Muri’s Journey), Viktor Pelevin’s ДПП (NN) (Oh my, this works out to Dialectics of the Transitional Period (From Nowhere to Nowhere)), Garros-Evdokimov’s [Голово]ломка (available in Andrew Bromfield’s translation, from Vintage, as Headcrusher), Aleksandr Prokhanov’s Господин Гексоген (Mister Hexogen), and Leonid Yuzefovich’s Князь ветра (Prince of the Wind).

According to, Viktor Pelevin, who’s very reclusive, did not show up at the ceremony as promised, though Oleg Kashin’s Live Journal (ЖЖ) entry says there are claims that Pelevin was there but nobody saw him. (I wonder if this may be a recurring theme, kind of like Elvis or Bigfoot...) Kashin’s blog post also contains congratulations, a photo of Prilepin holding a brick of dollars, and the hope that Prilepin makes it home to Nizhnii Novgorod без приключений, without adventures/incidents.

Up next: Notes from BookExpo America.


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