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Peter Aleshkovsky: 2016 Russian Booker Laureate
 

Friday, December 02, 2016

Peter Aleshkovsky: 2016 Russian Booker Laureate

by Paul E. Richardson

We were excited to learn today that one of our authors, Peter Aleshkovsky, was awarded the 2016 Russian Booker Prize, arguably Russia's most prestigous literary prize. Peter won it for his most recent novel, Крепость (The Fortress), which was nominated for all of Russia's top literary prizes this year.

The prize is long overdue. Peter has authored a dozen fine books over the past three decades, and has been thrice shortlisted for the Booker, for Skunk: A Life (1994), Vladimir Chirgintsev (1996), and Fish (2006). A full list of his books is here, along with links to some other material on Peter's work, including an interview about Fish he did with the novel's translator, Nina Murray, who also translated Stargorod.

The only books that have been translated into English are Skunk, Fish, and Stargorod.

In announcing the Booker Prize on December 1, Olesya Nikolayeva, the jury's chairman, said:

"Today, we, the members of the jury discussed and chose the leading candidate for the prize, although he was known to me well before this. From the very beginning I have been a fan of this novel. The jury was divided: three against two. Then we conducted a literary contest: each member had to speak on the two novels and give their conceptual assessment. After that, the votes changed. This novel is truly alive, it has a true character, a hero, a positive hero, I shoul say. The laureate of the Russian Booker Prize is Peter Aleshkovsky, for his novel Крепость."

In an authorial biography that Peter penned for us some years ago, he concluded that he 

is continually surprised at how people, like paintings in a museum, are everywhere as unlike one another as they are alike, such that they can even read a novel written in Russian and translated into another language.

But if it is an Aleshkovsky novel, then there is no surprise, for it is sure to be a fine work of literature.

Kudos, Peter, we could not be more proud of your achievement!

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