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Friday, June 03, 2011
Listen to the Book Expo America podcast episode with 4 Russian writers who were finalists for the Debut Prize, the prestigious independent literary award for authors under the age of 25 writing in Russian.
I am very pleased to point out that Iryna Bogatyreva, one of the writers featured on this panel, is represented in the summer issue of Chtenia (to hit mailboxes near you very soon) with an excellent short story "Return to Ithaca". Natasha Perova, head of Glas, introduces the four writers and the Debut Prize.
Pavel Kostin is a twenty-five year old writer from Kaliningrad describes his writing as being defined by the theme of urban life, city life, andÂ "underdogs". His novel "Rooftop Anesthesia" was translated by Andrew Bromfield, whose work has also appeared in Chtenia.
Polina Klyukina was born and grew up in Perm, and currently lives and studies in Moscow. She said she writes about the older generation, the generation of her parents--people who lived through very dramatic events in Russian/Soviet history, including perestroika,Â the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. She is interested both in portraying urban andÂ provincial life.
Andrei Kuzechkin's novel Mendeleev Rock was published in the same volume with Rooftop Anesthesia. He is from Nizhny Novgorod, and said he started writing novels at the university, when he was bored at lectures.Â Andrei and Pavel are friends and write about similar things; while Pavel writes about urban athletes, the characters in Andrei's books are rock musicians.
Iryna Bogatyreva comes from Ulyanovsk, a city on the Volga river. She said she mostly writes about her own generation because she feels that she is part of it. Her first novel, AvtoSTOP, was about truck drivers, and the second one, Sectarians, is due to be published soon in Russia. These writers represent the next generation of Russian writers, one that, as moderator John Narins put it, defined itself neither as Soviet nor as post-Soviet and instead is connected by their interest in young people, their problems and interests (see rock-music, above).