The other day, Academica Rossica announced the longlist for its 2014 Translation Prize, and, thankfully, Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair made it!
Not to diminish the value of this longlist, but, to be honest, I would’ve been pissed if it hadn’t have made it, given the fact that there are forty-five books listed on this. I mean, that’s still a few hundred books short of the IMPAC Prize longlist (which is the very definition of absurd), but I was surprised to find out that there were forty-five eligible Russian translations.
That said, these are forty-five really interesting books, including works by Daniil Kharms, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Gelasimov, Oleg Zalonchovsky, German Sadulaev, Viktor Shklovsky, Andrey Kurkov, Anna Starobinets, Vasily Grossman, Andrey Platonov, Victo Martinovich, Mikhail Shishkin, Vladimir Nabokov, Marina Tsvetaeva, and many other.
(Given the breath of this list, it would be really cool if there was a downloadable anthology with 5-10 pages from each. That would be an excellent way to introduce people to a wide range of Russian writing.)
Also, a lot of great Russian translators are on here—frequently with more than one book. Marian Schwartz, Andrew Bromfield, Carol Apollonio, Shushan Avagyan, Arch Tait, Amanda Love Darragh, Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, Jamey Gambrell, and many, many others.
The shortlist will be announced on February 25th and the winners on March 19th. In the meantime, check out the full list of titles and place your bets.
Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .
There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity. . .
In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since stopped caring about what the world reads and dropped the crusade to get Americans to read more poems. Part of the fault, as I’ve suggested. . .
I would like to pose the argument that it is rare for one to ever come across a truly passive protagonist in a novel. The protagonist (perhaps) of Three Light-Years, Claudio Viberti, is just that—a shy internist who lives in. . .
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .