Sunday, November 3, 2013

And There’s More Award News! NOSE Finalists & Bunin Winners

Ah, autumn, the season for literary awards!

First off, the NOSE Award named this season’s shortlist on Thursday. Winners will be announced on February 1, 2014; there will be jury awards and reader awards. The finalists are a combination of familiar and unfamiliar names:

  • Sergei Beliakov: Гумилев сын Гумилева (excerpts) (Gumilev, Son of Gumilev), also on the Big Book shortlist. I read a chapter or two of Gumilev, Son of Gumilev every now and then and find it okay but a little watered down, with too much detail about the times and people around Gumilev to consistently hold my interest. 
  • Evgeny Vodolazkin: Лавр (Laurus). Still one of my favorites; won Yasnaya Polyana, also a finalist for the Big Book and National Bestseller. (previous post)
  • Aleksandr Grigorenko: Ильгет. Три имени судьбы (excerpts) (Ilget. Three Names for Fate).
  • Mikhail Elizarov: Мы вышли покурить на 17 лет (This title seems to end up as We Went Out for a Seventeen-Year Smoke).
  • Andrei Ivanov: Харбинские мотыльки (The Moths of Harbin). A novel about Russians in Estonia during 1920-1940. This sounds like a difficult but interesting novel.
  • Eduard Kochergin: Записки Планшетной крысы (Notes of a [Theater] Board Rat… the word планшет has an Oxford Russian-English dictionary translation of plane table (for surveying) or map case and is also used for devices like iPads but is apparently also a theater term for the stage, the intent here.).
  • Vladimir Martynov: Книга книг (The Book of Books). Words and images from a composer and writer.
  • Margarita Khemlin: Дознаватель (The Investigator). Another one I read and enjoyed (previous post). BTW, Subtropics will be publishing my translation of one of Margarita’s stories fairly soon.
  • Konstantin Charukhin: Щежерь (Shchezher). The title is the name of a village in the Mogilev region of Belarus. The book is apparently a collection of stories.

As for the Bunin Award, first a big thanks to translator Anne Marie Jackson for sending a note to ask if I’d be writing about the Bunin Award. I don’t follow it closely, partly because it’s a fairly low-profile award that I don’t always hear about it and partly because (and this is related to the low-profile aspect) I’ve always found the award a little confusing. In any case, this year focused on prose, so here’s a summary of this year’s winners:

Special awards went to Fazil Iskander, whom I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading, and Viktor Likhonosov, whom I’ve never read. This year’s four winners are Vera Galaktionova for На острове Буяне (On Buyan Island), Dmitrii Poliakov (Katin) for Дети новолуния (Children of the New Moon), Andrei Volos for Возвращение в Панджруд (Return to Panjrud), and Maxim Osipov for stories and essays published in the book Человек эпохи Возрождения (Renaissance [Era] Man) and the journal Znamia.

Disclaimers: The usual (here), plus I’ve translated work by Khemlin as well as excerpts from Vodolazkin’s Laurus.

Up Next: Trip report on the American Literary Translators Association conference in Bloomington, Indiana, then Vadim Levental’s Masha Regina.


  1. 8 of 9 on the shortlist are men...

    1. Thanks for the note, tpaperny. (Tanya?) Yes, and Khemlin is the only woman on the Booker shortlist, too... and then there are the notions of readership and the женский роман, all of which make me crazy year-round without awards lists.

  2. the word планшет ... but is apparently also a theater term for the stage

    Is it? I can't find any support for that in physical or online dictionaries; I did, however, find this in Wikipedia (for what that's worth): "Планшетные куклы — разновидность используемых в театрах кукол, которые управляются с помощью рукояток, прикрепленных к голове и к другим частям тела." Maybe related to that?

    1. Thanks for asking about this, Languagehat. A brief piece about the book on TimeOut mentioned the use of планшет to refer to the physical stage. I didn't find much in dictionaries, either, but other sites also indicate that планшет refers to the floor of the stage, the boards. Here's a news story where the usage is clear.

    2. Thanks, I've added it to my Oxford dictionary!