Oliver Ready - translation The Prussian Bride by Yury Buida (published by Dedalus, 2002)




Special Commendation



In addition to the shortlist the Judges decided to introduce a category of Special Commendation and the following translations have been singled out for this award:

Michael Molnar for his translations of Victor Krivulin in: Richard McKane (ed.), Ten Russian Poets: Surviving the Twentieth Century, Anvil Press 2003;

Robin Kemball for his translation of Marina Tsvetaeva, Milestones, Northwestern University Press, 2004.



Hugh Aplin - translation of The Fatal Eggs by Mikhail Bulgakov (published by Hesperus, 2003)

Andrew Bromfield - translation of The Naked Pioneer Girl by Mikhail Kononov (published by Serpent's Tail, 2004)

Robert & Elizabeth Chandler, Olga Meerson - translation of Soul by Andrei Platonov (published by Harvill Press, 2003)

Robert Maguire - translation of Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (Penguin, 2004)

Arch Tait - translation of Hurramabad by Andrei Volos (Glas, 2001)


The Rossica Translation Prize 2005 was presented for the first time at the Translators’ Association prizes award ceremony on 3 October 2005 at the UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, London, together with the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translation from German, the Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from French, the Premio Valle Inclan for translation from Spanish, the Hellenic Foundation for Culture Translation Award for translation from Modern Greek, and the Vondel Prize for translation from Dutch.


A reception hosted by HE the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom, Mr Yury Fedotov, was held at the Russian Embassy in London on 11 October 2006 to mark the presentation of the prize.



Professor John Elsworth is a specialist in Russian literature and translator and from 1987 to 2004 was Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Manchester. His translation of Andrei Bely's novel The Silver Dove (Angel Books, 2000) was shortlisted for the Whitbread Translation Prize.

Professor Angela Livingstone is a Research Professor at Essex University where she taught Russian literature for 31 years. She has published books on – and translations from – Pasternak, Tsvetaeva and Platonov; and at present is working on Pasternak.

Professor Gerald Smith is Professor Emeritus of Russian at the University of Oxford. His book-length translations from Russian include the poetry of Aleksandr Galich (1983) and Boris Slutsky (1999) and also Contemporary Russian Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology (1993).




Judges' Statement

The Judges assessed a total of 37 books submitted by publishers for the ROSSICA Translation Prize. Two of the submitted texts were excluded as ineligible, one because it was not of a literary nature, the other because one of the Judges was involved in its preparation. One further text was included at the Judges' request under paragraph 4 of the Rules.

The Judges' discussions touched on many general principles as well as on the merits of individual texts. Perhaps the most difficult problem arose from the variety of submitted books. Among the submissions there are, for example, anthologies of poetry, one of them containing the work of ten poets and almost as many translators. There are also anthologies containing short stories by different authors and translators. The list of entries contained some classic texts that had been translated into English more than once before; and there were others whose original texts had been published only recently by authors previously unknown to the English readership. There was a broad spectrum among the entries ranging from translations that had been undertaken with an eye on commercial potential at the one extreme, to translations that were clearly labours of love at the other.

This heterogeneity is partly attributable to the extended time-span (2001-4 inclusive) of this first run; subsequent competitions will probably be simpler in this respect. To take account of this heterogeneity, the Judges decided to introduce the category of 'Special Commendation' in addition to the winner and shortlist. This category is designed to acknowledge translations of great distinction which do not, however, fulfil all the criteria for the award of the prize.

The Judges agreed that above all they wished to recognise and reward entries that represent an original and substantial achievement by the translator. Clearly, in order for this to be the case, the Russian original must be a literary work of high merit. The Judges paid due attention to editorial material by the translator that presents the translation to the English reader (such as a preface or afterword and/or annotations), but did not let such material play a decisive role.

The Judges are unanimous in having found their work immensely challenging and stimulating. They have come to recognise anew the continuing vitality of the contribution Russian literature has to make towards enriching the intellectual culture of the English speaking world, notwithstanding the upheavals that have afflicted the Russian literary process in recent years. And last but by no means least, they wish to record their enormous admiration for the service to Anglo-Russian cultural relations that ACADEMIA ROSSICA has rendered by initiating this unprecedented Prize, and wish it a long and hearty life.




Michael Molnar, Anvil Press Poetry in Association with Survivors Poetry, 2003, 267 pp.

Selected Poems by Evgeny Rein, translated by Robert Reid, Daniel Weissbort, Carol Rumens, Yuri Drobyshev, Bloodaxe Books, 2001, 176 pp.

Give me by Irina Denezhkina, translated by Andrew Broomfield, Chatto and Windus

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Tom Beck, Dedalus, 2004, 256 pp.

The Zero Train by Yuri Buida, translated by Oliver Ready, Dedalus, 2001, 135 pp.

The Prussian Bride by Yuri Buida, translated by Oliver Ready, Dedalus, 2002, 363 pp.

The Diary of a Soviet Schoolgirl by Nina Lugovskaya, translated by Joanne Turnbull, Glas, 2003, 215 pp.

Stamp Album by Andrei Sergeev, translated by Joanne Turnbull, Glas, 2002, 240 pp.

The Road to Rome by Nikolai Klimontovich, translated by Frank Williams, Glas

Master of the Grass. Short stories by Nina Gabrielyan, translated by Kate Cook, Glas

Living a Life, Totally Absurd Tales. Two cycles of short stories, by Valery Ronshin, translated by Jose Alanis and Sofia Cook, Glas

The New Romantic. Short stories by Alexander Selin, translated by Richard Cook, Glas

Hurramabad by Andrei Volos, translated by Arch Tait, Glas

Here I Am, performance poems by Lev Rubinstein, translated by Joanne Turnbull, Glas

Strange Soviet Practices. Anthology, various, Glas

Nine of Russia's Foremost Women Writers. Anthology, various, Glas

Happy Moscow by Andrey Platonov, translated by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler with Angela Livingstone, Nadya Bourova and Eric Naiman, Harvill Press, 2001, 154 pp.

Soul by Andrey Platonov, translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson, with jane Chamberlain, Olga Kouznetsova and Eric Naiman, Harvill Press, 2003, 161 pp.

The Case of the General’s Thum by Andrey Kurkov, translated by George Bird, Harvill Press, 2003, 184 pp.

Faust by Ivan Turgenev, translated by Hugh Aplin, Hesperus Press, 2003, 92 pp.

The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Hugh Aplin, Hesperus Press, 2004, 164 pp.

The Fatal Eggs by Michail Bulgakov, translated by Hugh Aplin, Hesperus Press, 2003, 110 pp.

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Nikolay Leskov, translated by Robert Chandler, Hesperus Press, 2003, 100 pp.

Dubrovsky by Alexander Pushkin, translated by Robert Chandler, Hesperus Press, 2003, 100 pp.

The Shooting Party by Anton Chekhov, translated by Ronald Wilks, Penguin, 2004, 109 pp.

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, translated by Robert A. Maquire, Penguin, 2004, 464 pp.

A Life in Letters by Anton Chekhov, translated by Rosamund Bartlett & Anthony Phillips, Penguin, 2004, 552 pp.

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by David McDuff, Penguin, 2004, 732 pp.

Maxim and Fyodor by Vladimir Shinkarev, translated by Andrew Broomfield, Seagull

Death and the Penquin by Andrey Kurkov, translated by George Bird, Vintage, 2001, 228 pp.

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin, translated by Andrew Broomfield, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003

Leviafan by Boris Akunin, translated by Andrew Bromfield, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002

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