Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 2014 NOS(E) Award Long List

I’m more than a little slow with this year’s NOS(E) Award long list, which came out nearly two weeks ago (!)…I’m still dragging a bit thanks to the never-ending cough I brought back from Moscow but, even worse in terms of speed, I was curious enough about some of these books to want to look them all up. Though many of the titles and writers were familiar from previous reading as well as other long- and shortlists, others were completely unknown to me. You can read any of the books on the long list and/or vote for a book on the NOS(E) site, here. NOS(E) will announce its shortlist on Halloween. Here’s the list, in Russian alphabetical order.

  • Valerii Aizenberg’s Квартирант (Tenant). According to critic Nikolai Alexandrov, Tenant is a monologue from someone looking to rent out an apartment, addressed to the prospective tenant. Aizenberg is also an artist and the book includes his art.
  • Svetlana Aleksievich’s Время сэконд хэнд (See Second-Hand Time for a detailed description and a list of translations). Nonfiction about Russia’s post-Soviet history.
  • Iurii Arabov’s Столкновение с бабочкой (Clash/Collision with a Butterfly). Hmm, chapter one is titled “Ленин в Цюрихе” (“Lenin in Zurich”); in an interview Arabov referred to the novel as alternative, “what if,” history.
  • Iurii Buida’s Яд и мёд (Poison and Honey). The only book on the list I’ve already read, if only in part. I bought the book in Moscow and plan to read the stories, too.
  • Linor Goralik’s Это называется так (This Is What It’s Called or some similar combination of words…). Short stories and a play.
  • Maksim Gureev’s Покоритель орнамента (Conqueror of Ornamentation? The title phrase is in the text but…). A mixture of the here-and-now and historical times… apparently involving a rug at a Crimean museum.
  • Aleksei Makushinsky’s Пароход в Аргентину (Steamship to Argentina). A novel about émigré life and Proustian searches. A 2014 Big Book Award finalist. Makushinsky, BTW, is Anatolii Rybakov’s son.
  • Anna Matveeva’s Девять девяностых (Nine from the Nineties). Short stories. Some, including (apparently) this one, were written for Snob.
  • Margarita Meklina’s Вместе со всеми (Along With Everyone) Short stories.
  • Iurii Miloslavskiii’s Приглашённая. Материалы к биографии Александры Федоровны Чумаковой (excerpt) (Invited. Materials Regarding the Biography of Alexandra Fedorovna Chumakova). About the Big Stuff: love, time, identity, rebirth, and death. Indescribable-sounding.
  • Aleksandr Mil’shtein’s Параллельная акция (A Parallel Action). A “novel-palimpsest,” according to this review.
  • Elena Minkina-Taicher’s Эффект Ребиндера (The Rehbinder Effect). Evidently a family saga. The effect in the title is described, stubbily, on Wikipedia here.
  • Aleksei Nikitin’s Victory Park (excerpt). I bought this novel in Moscow and am looking forward to reading it: it’s set in Kiev’s Victory Park area in the late 1980s. Short listed for the 2014 Russian Prize, novel category.
  • Maksim Osipov’s Волною морскою (With/On a Sea Wave, a watery wave, not a wave of the hand.). Eight medium-length (hi)stories set in various places. One is titled “Cape Cod.”
  • Vladimir Rafeenko’s Демон Декарта (Descartes’s Demon). About a man who’s reborn multiple times, wandering the world and wanting to choose one life/fate for himself.  
  • Vladimir Sorokin’s Теллурия (Tellurium). On my NatsBest long list post, I wrote: A polyphonic novel in 50 highly varying chapters. Also shortlisted for this year’s National Bestseller and Big Book awards.
  • Tatyana Tolstaya’s Легкие миры (Light Worlds? In which light has the meaning of not heavy…) Short stories; the title story won the Belkin Award. I bought the book after hearing Tolstaya speak at the Moscow International Book Fair in early September.
  • Tatyana Freidensson’s Дети Третьего рейха (Children of the Third Reich). Nonfiction written by a journalist.
  • Aleksei Tsvetkov’s Король утопленников (King of the Drowned). Prose texts arranged by size… the first takes up less than a half a page, the last is around 80 pages long. NB: This book was not written by the poet named Aleksei Tsvetkov. This book currently leads NOS(E) reader voting.
  • Vladimir Sharov’s Возвращение в Египет (Return to Egypt). In which one Kolya Gogol (a distant relative of familiar, beloved old Nikolai Gogol) finishes writing Dead Souls. An epistolary novel. Finalist for the 2014 National Bestseller and Big Book awards.
  • Oleg Yur’ev’s Диптих «Неизвестное письмо…» (Diptych. “An Unknown Letter…”) The letter is to Fyodor Dostoevsky, from one Ivan Pryzhov.

Disclaimers: The usual.

Up Next: Moscow trip report. Then books: Evgeny Vodolazkin’s first novel, Solovyov and Larionov, and Marina Stepnova’s latest book, named for Moscow’s Bezbozhnyi Lane.


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