Sunday, May 30, 2021

My Favorite Pelevin Wins 2021 NatsBest

I missed yesterday’s NatsBest Award news thanks to not one but two Internet outages (!) so was pleased to learn this morning that Alexander Pelevin won the 2021 prize for his Pokrov-17. Video of the ceremony has not yet been posted but according to RG.RU, each jury member voted for a different finalist (there were six of each!), leaving the honorary (nonvoting) jury chair, Grigory Ivliev, to break the tie. I haven’t read any of the books on the shortlist – which look especially decent this year – but thoroughly enjoyed Pelevin’s The Four and Kalinova Yama so am looking forward to this one.  

For more on how this happened: Mikhail Vizel for Год литературы


Disclaimers and Disclosures: Nothing but the usual this time?

Up Next: They’re piling up. Natalya Baranskaya’s A Week Like Any Other, which was just the thing during a particularly harried recent week. Svetlana Kuznetsova’s The Anatomy of the Moon, which I’m translating and enjoying for the third time but still don’t know how to write about. And Eugene (Zhenya!) Vodolazkin’s The History of Island, which I’m rereading the way it should be read – slowly – which means I’m appreciating it even more the second time around. I also just started Lidia Charskaya’s Lidia Записки институтки, about a girl who’s sent to a private school at a tender young age. The Big Book finalist announcement is coming soon, too.


  1. Who is Svetlana Kuznetsov and is the lack of an -a on her surname her choice? When I google the name I get a tennis player and a poet who died in 1988.

    1. Thank you for being my proofreader yet again, Languagehat, she is, of course, Kuznetsova and I did, of course, not notice my mistake, despite multiple reads! "The Anatomy of the Moon" is her first novel published in book (rather than journal) form.

    2. Heh. Now that I'm retired as a professional, I have to exercise my editorial predilections somehow! I look forward to seeing what you say about her book (and about the Baranskaya, which I remember enjoying).

  2. Well, I'm happy to be on the receiving end of your proofreading services! I read both The Anatomy of the Moon and A Week Like Any Other just when I needed them most and (oddly, for someone who rarely rereads) have now read each book at least twice.