Over at Lizok’s Bookshelf, Lisa Hayden Espenschade has an interesting post about Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the new majority shareholder of the
Brooklyn New Jersey Nets. Apparently, in addition to acquiring American sports franchises and serving as a member of the “Supreme Council of the Sport Russia Organisation,” he also runs a literary prize:
The award is called НОС, short for Новая словесность… NOSE, for New Literature. The Mikhail Prokhorov Fund Web site writes that it established the annual prize in 2009 to recognize the 200th anniversary of Nikolai Gogol’s birth. Hence the nose. The award is intended “для выявления и поддержки новых трендов в современной художественной словесности на русском языке” – “for exposing and supporting new trends in contemporary fiction in the Russian language.”
The words “открытость процесса принятия решений” appear in bold on the NOSE page to emphasize the intent to foster “openness in the decision-making process.” Will this be the first literary prize where the jury will discuss choices of finalists and winners in talk show format? I bet it will.
The 30-book longlist can be found here, and there’s even an online voting component! According to Lisa, right now, the two leading vote getters are Vadim Demidov’s Сержант Пеппер, живы твои сыновья! (Sergeant Pepper, Your Sons Are Alive!), with 450 points, and Serafim’s Записки ангела (Notes of an Angel), with 452 points.
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .
It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015 PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has. . .
Jorge Eduardo Benavides’ novel La paz de los vencidos (The Peace of the Defeated) takes the form of a diary written by a nameless Peruvian thirty-something intellectual slumming it in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. Recently relocated. . .
Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of. . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .