With a top prize of 3 million rubles, Russia’s Big Book Awards is one of the largest literary awards second only to the Nobel Prize. This year’s top winner was Mikhail Shishkin, who won first place with his novel Letter-Book. Letter-Book, or Pismovnik in Russian, bids a unique plot in which the story unfolds through letters written by two star-crossed lovers. The novel blurs the past and the present while the lovers seek to reconnect.
Vladimir Sorokin author of The Blizzard was awarded second place. The Blizzard archives the travels and thoughts of a doctor rushing to treat people suffering from Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, a zombifying disease, while driving through a horrendous Russian blizzard.
Third place was awarded to Dmitrii Bykov for his work the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The story is set in Leningrad, revolving around the tales of Russia’s last Freemasons in the 1920’s. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice mixes history with magical realism in Russia’s grim past.
Big Book also honored Peter Mayer of Overlook Press (and client of Benay Enterprise) for his contribution in promoting Russian literature and translating Russian works into English.
So a big congratulations to this year’s winners and of course Peter Mayer’s amazing dedication and contribution to literature worldwide.