Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oodles of Award News: Yasnaya Polyana, Read Russia Translations, Book of the Year

Last week the Yasnaya Polyana Award named finalists for 2012 prizes. The finalists are:

For the “XXI Century” award, which RIA-Novosti called the “adult” award:
  • Iurii Buida’s Синяя Кровь (Blue Blood), which I read and enjoyed very much; it was third-prize winner among 2011’s Big Book “regular” reader voters.
  • Evgenii Kasimov’s Назовите меня Христофором (Call Me Christopher), which I’d never heard of. (This is what I like so much about award lists…)
  • Oleg Pavlov’s Дневник больничного охранника (Diary of a Hospital Guard), which has been on my reader since Pavlov sent me the text ages ago… it looks promising.
  • Iurii Petkevich’s С птицей на голове (With a Bird on the Head), another new (and intriguing) title for me.
  • Marina Stepnova’s Женщины Лазаря (Lazarus’s Women) a 2012 Big Book finalist I’m reading now.
  • Andrei Stoliarov’s Мы, народ (We, the People), another book I’d never heard of.

For the “Childhood, Adolescence, Youth” award, a new category this year, the finalists are:
  • Marina Aromshtam’s Когда отдыхают ангелы (When (the?) Angels Rest), which I’d heard of through a friend who knows Aromshtam.
  • Andrei Dmitriev’s Крестьянин и тинейджер (The Peasant and the Teenager), a 2012 Big Book finalist that I just brought back from Moscow.
  • Andrei Zhvalevskii and Evgenii Pasternak’s Время всегда хорошее (The Time Is Always Good), another mysterious title for me.

The Yasnaya Polyana jury will also choose a “contemporary classic” writer who will receive a prize of 900,000 rubles. The XXI Century and Childhood, Adolescence, Youth prizes carry monetary awards of, respectively, 750,000 and 300,000 rubles.

I was in Moscow earlier this month for a literary translator congress that concluded with a ceremony at which four translators were honored with Read Russia translation awards. The winners are:
  • Víctor Gallego Ballesteros for his Spanish translation of Lev Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (19th century classical literature)
  • John Elsworth for his English translation of Andrei Bely’s Petersburg (20th century works written before 1990). Elsworth also won the Rossica prize for Petersburg in May 2012.
  • Hélène Henri-Safier for her French translation of Dmitrii Bykov’s Pasternak (contemporary works written after 1990)
  • Alessandro Niero for his Italian translation of Dmitrii Prigov’s Thirty Three Texts  (poetry)

Russia Beyond the Headlines has more here. Event photos (including one with a tired-looking me!) available here. There’s even video here, where you can hear the fanfare.

In other award news, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)’s «Несвятые святые» и другие рассказы (“Unsaintly Saints” and Other Stories) was named prose of the year at the annual Book of the Year ceremony; this book is also on the 2012 Big Book short list. Boris Ryzhii won the poetry of the year award for his В кварталах дальних и печальных…: Избранная лирика. Роттердамский дневник, which I’ll just call a collection of lyrical poetry that must be related to Rotterdam. A special award went to Daniil Granin for his contributions to literature; Granin’s Мой лейтенант (My Lieutenant) is a 2012 Big Book finalist. I brought this one back from Moscow as well: a fellow book shopper was eager to read it after a friend’s recommendation.

Up Next: Moscow trip report covering the translator conference, the Moscow International Book Fair, and other odds and ends. Then, finally, books! Ergali Ger’s Koma, the Stepnova book, Andrei Rubanov’s short stories, and who knows what else.

Disclaimers: I wrote this with my customary post-travel cold so fear for my ability to successfully fact check my own writing. And then the usual. I write for Read Russia. Also, I met last week with Vladislav Otroshenko, a Yasnaya Polyana Award jury member; I translated Otroshenko’s story Языки Нимродовой башни (“The Languages of Nimrod’s Tower”) and can’t wait to read an excerpt of it at the American Literary Translators Association conference in few weeks. I’ll write more about my meeting with Otroshenko in my trip report. 


  1. Nice post.I should say that recognition for translator motivates them to do well in their craft.We should be thankful that these people were here to do their thing since Translating shows the rich blend of knowledge and culture in a society.Dutch translation or in any translation helps one to get acquainted with the thoughts, traditions, principles and actions of the people from one region to another.

  2. I would be happy to do Polish translation of it!