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.
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
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. . .