Late Russian author wins Russian Booker Prize
In his speech about the winner, Igor Shaitanov of the Russian Booker Prize Committee reminded his audience that in 2011, the Russian Booker Prize was being held in a special format.
"This year, the Russian Booker Prize was due to choose the best Russian novel of the decade, Shaitanov explains. A total of five finalists were competing for the title which was finally won by Alexander Chudakov and his Haze Sets Upon the Old Steps – a choice that was greeted with a round of applause from the audience. The past several years have seen an ever-increasing popularity of Chudakov’s novel which I think has been rightly picked as the best Russian novel of the early 21st century," Shaitanov adds.
In 2011, the Russian Booker Prize Committee cancelled one of the award’s essential rules, critic Andrei Nemzerov says, referring to the fact that this year, not only the living but also deceased authors were eligible to take part. Nemzerov lauded the “cultural community” which had piled praise on the “beautiful book” which Nemzerov said was far from being a bestseller.
As for Chudakov’s autobiographical idyllic novel, it had only one main competitor - Ludmila Ulitskaya’s Daniel Stein, the Translator, which tells the story of a “positively beautiful hero” which unfolded against the backdrop of tragic developments of the 20th century.
The Russian Booker Prize Committee has also given awards to their other finalists, including Oleg Pavlov, Roman Senchin and Zakhar Prilepin who were certainly lucky to have taken part in this prestigious literary award ceremony, Igor Shaitanov said in an interview with the Voice of Russia aired on Friday.
The annual format of the Russian Booker Prize will again be in place from 2012 onwards, when the Russian Communications Corporation will deal with the organisation of the event. The organizers say that plans to hold another Best Novel of the Decade award are in the pipeline. They declined to elaborate.