Rossica Prize 2012 brochure    

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Winner – John Elsworth


We are delighted to announce that Professor John Elsworth has won the Rossica Translation Prize 2012 for his translation of Petersburg by Andrei Bely. 


The announcement was made to a packed audience of publishers, translators, writers, press and prominent cultural figures at the Russian Bookshop in Waterstones Piccadilly. HE Alexander Yakovenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation, speaking before the official announcement, described translators of Russian literature as "the true ambassadors" of Russian culture abroad. The 5000 Rossica Translation Prize, shared between the translator and publisher, was presented by Pamela Davidson, Professor of Russian Literature at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL.


Faced with the difficult task of selecting a final winner from a shortlist of such outstanding quality, the judges agreed unanimously on John Elsworth’s translation. In particular they praised Elsworth's for "producing a masterful translation that reads like a work of art in its own right.”


The judges also awarded a Special Commendation to Hugh and Galya Aplin, in recognition of the quality and variety of their numerous translations.


Congratulations to our winners and we would like to thank all those who attended for making the award ceremony such a special and memorable event! 


For more information on the winners, as well as those shortlisted, please see the event brochure





Winner John Elsworth

and Judge Pamela Davidson




The Rossica Translation Prize Shortlist 



The Cathedral Clergy: A Chronicle

By Nikolay Leskov
Translated by Margaret Winchell
Slavica; 2010; pp. 532
ISBN 978-0-89357-373-7
As beloved by Russians as the works of Leskov’s better known fellow writers, The Cathedral Clergy offers, in its unusual subject matter and unconventional structure, a unique approach to the Russian Realist novel. It is the tale of a town, an adventure story, a love story, a life of a modern martyr, a comedy as well as a tragedy. Given its vivid style The Cathedral Clergy has proven nearly impossible to translate. This expert annotated translation, however, now affords English speakers the pleasure of discovering a nineteenth-century Russian novel.

The Golden Calf

By Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov
Translated by Konstantin Gurevich and Helen Anderson
Open Letter; 2009; pp. 336
ISBN 978-1934824078
The Golden Calf—the first complete translation of the novel—restores the absurd, manic energy of the original and reaffirms the judgment of the Soviet censors, who said: "You have a very nice hero, Ostap Bender. But really, he's just a son of a bitch." Ostap Bender, the "grand strategist," is obsessed with getting one last big score—a few hundred thousand will do—and heading for Rio de Janeiro, where there are "a million and a half people, all of them wearing white pants, without exception."

Petersburg - WINNER

By Andrei Bely
Translated by John Elsworth
Pushkin Press; 2009; pp. 569
ISBN 978-1-901285-96-3
Petersburg is a story of family dysfunction, parricide, political terror, conspiracy and murder, but it also points to apocalypse and redemption. The world of history−the revolution of 1905−and the world of myth−in the figure of Saturn, who devours his children and in turn is devoured by them−are intertwined. Russia is torn apart by the conflict between revolutions and reaction, at the level of myth, these opposites are indistinguishable. The Ableukhovs, father and son, embody this conflict, but are scions of the same Mongol lineage.

The Road

By Vasily Grossman
Translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler with Olga Mukovnikova
Maclehose Press; 2010; pp. 392

ISBN 9781906694258

Vasily Grossman is widely recognized as one of the outstanding literary figures of the twentieth century. The short fiction collected here - satire, comedy, tragedy and pure narrative - illustrate the remarkable breadth of his work, and demonstrate all the bold intelligence, delicate irony and extraordinary vividness for which he has become known. In addition to the eleven stories, this volume includes the complete text of 'The Hell of Treblinka', one of the first descriptions of a Nazi extermination camp.


The Village

By Ivan Bunin
Translated by Galya and Hugh Aplin
Oneworld Classics; 2009; pp. 200
ISBN 9781847491046
Ivan Bunin's first published novel, "The Village" is a bleak and uncompromising portrayal of rural life in south-west Russia. Set at the time of the 1905 Revolution and centering on episodes in the lives of two peasant brothers - 'characters sunk so far below the average of intelligence as to be scarcely human' - it reveals the pettiness, violence and ignorance of life on the land.At once nostalgic for a bygone more innocent age and foreshadowing the turbulences of the twentieth century, Bunin's narrative is a triumph of bitter realism, shot through with the author's classical style and precision of language.




The Rossica Translation Prize Longlist


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