|The Long List of the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award Announced|
On March 16, 2017 the jury of the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award announced the long list in the Foreign Fiction category for 2017 at the F.M. Dostoevsky Library, Moscow. The long list includes 28 works by authors from Great Britain, Israel, India, Italy, Slovenia, the USA, Sweden, France, Peru, and South Africa. For the third year in a row, the longlisted titles in this category have been seen as a guide to the best in contemporary world fiction. The list can be found here >>>
The Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award was introduced in 2015; it recognizes the most significant foreign book of the year written in the 21st century, and its Russian translation. The long list in this category is selected by experts: literary critics, translators, and publishers. There is no short list in this category; the jury selects the winner based on the long list. The name of the winner of the Foreign Fiction Award will be announced in October of 2017 during the Yasnaya Polyana Book Awards ceremony. In early April everybody will be able to participate in the contest of reviewing the long-listed books on the Livelib.ru portal.
Among those present at the event in Moscow were the Award‘s jury members: Vladimir Tolstoy, Pavel Basinsky, Aleksei Varlamov, and Vladislav Otroshenko; Natalia Malyova, head of the department of public relations and sponsorship projects of the Samsung Electronics headquarters for the CIS countries; and experts for the category: Alla Shtainman, Anna Narinskaya, Natalia Kochetkova, and Mikhail Vizel. They mentioned the importance of the Foreign Fiction category for the understanding of the international context the modern Russian authors and their works exist in, and once again emphasized the key role of translators.
“We are grateful to Samsung company for their readiness to increase the translator’s prize fund in the Foreign Fiction category. We would like to support high quality translations of foreign books into Russian and the wonderful school of Russian translation,” remarked Vladimir Tolstoy, chairman of the jury, and advisor to the RF President on culture and art.
“The Yasnaya Polyana Book Award is a guide in modern Russian and foreign literature. As Samsung is an international company, the Foreign Fiction Award has a special significance for us. This year it turns three years old. The award is dynamic and is constantly changing: the new category, The Event, was added this year,“ commented Natalia Malyova, head of the department of public relations and sponsorship projects of the Samsung Electronics headquarters for the CIS countries.
Pavel Basinsky, a writer and literary critic, added: “It is difficult to get oriented in the world of books. The list of nominated works includes modern books published in 2010-2016. Having reviewed them, any person can get an idea of what is currently being written about. The long list of the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award is a guide in modern literature for me, too.”
“It is important that we be able to appreciate foreign authors along with Russian ones. This year, we consider both Russian and foreign fiction in the world context. Among the nominated books are works of various genres, and their authors belong to various generations. When the Foreign Fiction category was introduced, the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award became truly international, and this is a very important point for all of us,“ noted Vladislav Otroshenko, a writer and essayist, and winner of the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award.
“Literature exists beyond barriers and borders. The list of nominees contains authors from various countries of the world. We have the chance to recognize their work with the award thanks to the Samsung company,“ commented Aleksei Varlamov, a prose writer, a researcher of Russian literature of the 20th century.
The first recipients of the Foreign Fiction prize were Ruth Ozeki in 2015, for her novel A Tale for the Time Being, and the translator of the book into Russian, Ekaterina Ilyina, and Orhan Pamuk in 2016, for the novel A Strangeness in My Mind, and the translator of the book into Russian, Apolinaria Avrutina.
The prize fund in the Foreign Fiction category consists of two parts: the winner receives 20,000 dollars, and the translator is awarded 9,000 dollars. This year the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award celebrates its 15th anniversary, and the prize fund in the category will be increased: by 3,500 dollars for the author, and by 5,000 dollars for the translator.
About the Award:
The annual Yasnaya Polyana Book Award was established by the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and Samsung Electronics company in 2003. The Award supports the traditions of classic Russian literature and trends in modern Russian literature. The jury of the award is headed by the advisor to the RF President on culture and art, Vladimir Tolstoy, and includes well-known Russian writers and literary critics. Among the winners of the award, in different years and categories, were Narine Abgaryan, Vladimir Grigorenko, Guzel Yakhina, Evgeny Vodolazkin, Aleksei Ivanov, Zakhar Prilepin, Vasily Golovanov, Mikhail Tarkovsky, and Roman Senchin. Presently, the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award is the biggest annual book award in Russia.
The jury chooses the best works of fiction in the established categories. In 2017, the categories were changed. The main category is the Modern Russian Fiction Award. It recognizes an outstanding work by a modern author which promotes the ideals of humanity and which is important to read right now as it reveals the course of present-day literary trends. The Foreign Fiction Award recognizes the most significant foreign book of the year written in the 21st century and its translation into Russian. A totally new category is the Event category. It is intended to recognize a significant event in cultural life, in the opinion of the jury and experts, such as a festival, theater production, mass media creation, documentary literature, or a screen version of a work.
Lev Anninsky, literary critic and essayist;
Pavel Basinsky, writer and literary critic;
Alexei Varlamov, prose writer and scholar of Russian literature of the 20th century;
Evgeny Vodolazkin, writer, Doctor of Philology, and winner of the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award;
Valentin Kurbatov, writer, essayist, and literary critic;
Vladislav Otroshenko, writer and essayist, winner of the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award;
Vladimir Tolstoy, Chairman of the jury, RF President’s Advisor on Culture and Art.
More information is available on the website of the Award
Samsung Electronics has been working in Russia for 25 years and actively participating in the country‘s social and cultural life. Samsung Electronics Company is the oldest official sponsor of the State Academic Bolshoi Theater (since 1991), partner of the State Hermitage (since 1997) and the State Petergof Museum-Preserve (since 2013). Since 2003, jointly with the Yasnaya Polyana Museum, Samsung Company has been a co-founder of the annual Yasnaya Polyana Book Award. Samsung Electronics also actively supports exhibitions of modern art.
About the Yasnaya Polyana Museum:
Yasnaya Polyana Estate-Museum is a literary museum opened in 1921 at Leo Tolstoy‘s (1828-1910) ancestral estate. It was here that Tolstoy was born, lived most of his life, and was buried on the edge of a ravine in the shade of trees. A great many people from all over the world come here annually. Now Yasnaya Polyana is a major museum and a recognized cultural center of international importance.