The biennial Read Russia Prize was established in 2011 by the Institute of Translation in Moscow as a way to celebrate Russian literature and book culture by supporting the translation and publication of Russian works. This year’s competition drew 112 entries from 16 different countries, which were narrowed down to shortlists in four categories this past August. Each prize comes with a 5000 Euro purse for the translator and a 3000 Euro grant to the publishing house to be applied to the costs of publishing an additional work of Russian literature. And now the winners of the four prizes have been announced in a ceremony in Moscow reported on by Russia Beyond the Headlines.
Here are the prizewinning translators and their projects in each category:
Classic 19th Century Russian Literature: Alejandro Ariel Gonzales for his translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella The Double (Argentina)
20th Century Russian Literature: Alexander Nitzberg for his translation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita (Austria)
Contemporary Russian Literature: Marian Schwartz for her translation of Leonid Yuzefovich’s novel Harlequin’s Costume (United Kingdom)
Poetry: Liu Wenfei for his translation of lyrical works by Alexander Pushkin (China)
Congratulations to these stellar translators around the globe, and in particular to Marian Schwartz, representing the English-speaking world. She just did an interview, by the way, in which she talks about several other Russian books she’d like to translate for a U.S. audience.
By the way, the Read Russia team seems extremely serious about wanting to get the word out about Russian literature. To this end, they have put together a hefty (450 page) anthology of contemporary Russian writing in English, and posted it on their website to be downloaded for free. The price cannot be beat, and a raft of well-respected translators have participated in the project. You can read more about it and download your own copy here.