Press

PRESS RELEASE 5th SLOVO RUSSIAN LITERATURE FESTIVAL OPENS IN LONDON ON 8 MARCH 2014 www.academia-rossica.org From Pushkin to Pelevin, Dostoevsky to Shishkin, Tolstoy to Bykov - literature has always been Russia’s calling card. And writers have been its most important ambassadors! Their stories, their insights into human nature, their philosophical musings and debates continue to engage and inspire readers all over the world. And when speaking about the relationship between Britain and Russia, it is certainly the literary links that have been the strongest ties between the two countries. It is therefore no surprise then that the only festival of Russian literature outside Russia was established in London! This year, the SLOVO Russian Literature Festival is returning to London for the 5th time! Russia's most celebrated writers will be in attendance, presenting their new books, meeting with readers, debating with UK authors and specialists, and discussing new projects with publishers and translators. SLOVO – a chance for Russian writers to bring their work to the UK and an opportunity for UK audiences to meet with the key players in Russian intellectual life. This year's SLOVO will run from the 8-23 March, featuring 16 Russian authors at 20 events over the course for 16 days at 6 prestigious and celebrated venues around London. IN SEARCH OF LOST REALITY  In Search of Lost Reality. The theme of this year's Festival is open to interpretation; our writers will talk not only about their works but about how they capture today's rapidly changing reality and the transience of our experiences and emotions. The Festival opens on 8 March with a talk by Mikhail Shishkin – Of Living Noses and Dead Souls. One of the most celebrated contemporary Russian writers will reflect on the great and eternal themes which are still relevant in today's Russia. He will be followed by “Night Snipers” rock musician Diana Arbenina, who will present Sprinter – a new collection of poems published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her performances. Famous and internationally award-winning writers, Zakhar Prilepin, Alexander Terekhov, Sergei Shargunov, and Olga Sedakova will be joining us for this year's SLOVO Festival which will also feature exclusive films based on the works Ilf and Petrov, Pelevin, and Bulgakov. ROSSICA TRANSLATION PRIZE March 20 sees the long-awaited announcement of the prestigious Rossica Prize. Established in 2005, it is the world's only prize for the translation of Russian literature into English. The prize is awarded by Academia Rossica with the support of the Russky Mir foundation. The Rossica Young Translators' Award – an annual competition for young translators – will also be announced. The Awards Ceremony will be preceded by a talk from Rossica Prize judge and translator, Oliver Ready – Cat and Mouse with Dostoevsky. The Translator as Detective. He will discuss the challenges of translation, especially in his recent work with Crime and Punishment and the ambiguous, flowing nature of the conversations between the Investigator, Porfiry Petrovich, and his suspect, Rodion Raskolnikov. TALES OF RUSSIAN LONDON Russian Londoners! Grab your pens! For the first time in SLOVO history, we will be holding a competition! Russian Londoners are invited to write on the theme of The Moment I Loved/Hated/Knew London. Organised by Academia Rossica and www.RusskyLondon.com, the best stories will be published as a collection – Tales of Russian London. __________________________ The full programme of the SLOVO Festival can be found at: www.academia-rossica.org The SLOVO Festival will be in London between 8 and 23 March 2014 as part of the 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture, with the support of the Russky Mir Foundation. Organiser: ACADEMIA ROSSICA is an independent arts organisation set up in London in 2000 to promote cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and Britain.We represent Russian artists, filmmakers, writers and publishers. Academia Rossica projects are supported by the Russian Embassy, the Russian Ministry of Culture and our corporate partners. http://academia-rossica.org SLOVO Festival Partners: Waterstones Piccadilly, The London Library, King's Russia Institute, MacDougall's Arts, Erarta Galleries, The May Fair Hotel, www.RusskyLondon.com. Media Partners: Russia Beyond the Headlines, Angliya, Kommersant UK, British Style, Russian Mind, Voice of Russia __________________________ CONTACTS For enquiries regarding press accreditation, interviews and photo requests, please contact Academia Rossica: press@academia-rossica.org Academia Rossica
 76 Brewer Street, Piccadilly Circus, London W1F 9TX

 Tel: +44 20 7287 2614, +44 20 7287 5712

Guests

Roman Liberov is a documentary filmmaker and animator. He trained at the BBC specializing in documentary filmmaking, where he then worked for six years. Ilfandpetrov forms part of a cycle of animated documentaries about Russian writers, including Yuri Olesha, Joseph Brodsky, Georgi Vladimov, and Sergei Dovlatov.

SLOVO 2014

Olga Sedakova, winner of the Dante Aligheiri Prize and the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Prize among others, will talk about her great teachers and friends, Sergei Averintsev, Venichka Erofeev, Mikhail Gasparov, Joseph Brodsky and others, intellectual pillars of the Soviet intelligentsia. She will of course also read some of her own inspiring and highly original poetry.

Mikhail Shishkin announced as finalist for 2013 Best Translated Book Award

The finalists for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award have been announced, and we are excited to see that the list includes SLOVO guest Mikhail Shishkin’s brilliant novel Maidenhair, translated by Marian Schwartz! Congratulations!

Rossica Prize

The judges of the Rossica Translation Prize for 2014 faced an embarrassment of riches. The long-list was exceptionally strong this year, and included many new and gifted translators who will be shaping the reception of Russian literature in English for years to come. No less promisingly, it also included a large number of important works translated into English for the first time. All the long-listed translators and publishers are to be congratulated on what can truthfully be called an urozhainyi god, or ‘year of plenty’.

Mikhail Shishkin

Mikhail Shishkin is widely considered one of the greatest Russian writers today, and his unique style has led to comparisons with writers of revered classics.

Dmitry Bykov

Dmitry Bykov is one of the most prolific and influential writers in contemporary Russian literature, with works ranging from a hugely successful biography of Boris Pasternak to the literary sensation ZhD.

Submissions open for Rossica Young Translators Award 2013

Academia Rossica is pleased to announce that the Rossica Young Translators Award 2013 (RYTA) is now underway! Returning for the 5th year, this award, the younger sister of the prestigious Rossica Prize, is designed to inspire young people around the world who speak or are learning Russian to get involved with literary translation.

Many congratulations to Vladimir Sorokin!

Today it was announced that he is a finalist in of one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world - the Man Booker International Prize!

Decadence or Renaissance: Russian Literature since 1991

24 - 26 September 2012
St. Antony's College, Oxford University
Decadence or Renaissance? brings together scholars from across the world to assess and explore the last twenty years of Russian literature.

Russian Cultural Weekends at Stonehill House

A series of informal talks on Russian literature in May and June 2012. No prior knowledge needed.

SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 2012 draws to a close. See photos here!

Sadly, SLOVO 2012 has drawn to a close. We are grateful to everyone who made last week such an enjoyable and inspiring time. Most of all, we are indebted to our writers - Boris Akunin, Zakhar Prilepin, Alexander Kabakov, Irina Muravyova and Alex Dubas - for coming to London and very generously making this week what it was – reflective, informative, emotional and full of discovery and laughter.

Zakhar Prilepin

Zakhar Prilepin was born near Ryazan in 1975. Prilepin had a varied life before dedicating himself to writing, spending time as a student, as a labourer, as a journalist and as a soldier, serving with the Special Forces in Chechnya. More recently Prilepin has come to the public attention not only as one of the best writers of his generation, but as a committed, and often controversial, political activist on behalf of the ‘Other Russia’ coalition. Prilepin lives in Nizhny Novgorod where he is the regional editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Zakhar Prilepin

Zakhar Prilepin was born near Ryazan in 1975. Prilepin had a varied life before dedicating himself to writing, spending time as a student, as a labourer, as a journalist and as a soldier, serving with the Special Forces in Chechnya. More recently Prilepin has come to the public attention not only as one of the best writers of his generation, but as a committed, and often controversial, political activist on behalf of the ‘Other Russia’ coalition. Prilepin lives in Nizhny Novgorod where he is the regional editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Dmitry Bykov

Dmitry Bykov is one of Russia’s most prominent and admired writers and public intellectuals. His often controversial and always engaging opinions can be found in newspapers, magazines, television and radio programmes and, of course, his own polemical novels. Regardless of his ubiquity and capacity for provocation, Bykov is recognised as a superb critic, essayist, novelist and poet, capable of expressing cultural insight with verve and humour.

Andrei Bitov

Andrei Bitov is one of the most important Russian writers of the last fifty years, justly famous for his groundbreaking post-modern novel Pushkin House. Born in Leningrad in 1937, Bitov spent the war in evacuation in the Urals and Uzbekistan. After returning to his native city in 1944, Bitov became a geologist, travelling all over the Soviet Union. He started writing short stories in 1959, but did not become a full-time writer until he moved to Moscow in 1963.

Sergei Lukyanenko

Sergei Lukyanenko is one of the foremost Russian writers and one of the few to be acclaimed outside of Russia. After originally studying as a psychiatrist, Lukyanenko chose instead to become a prolific science-fiction writer. He is best known, particularly abroad, for his incredibly popular series of Watches, starting with Night Watch (1998) and ending with Final Watch (2006). The series chronicles the supernatural conflict between two organisations, the Night Watch and Day Watch, who strive to uphold the truce between good and evil.

Zakhar Prilepin

Zakhar Prilepin was born near Ryazan in 1975. Prilepin had a varied life before dedicating himself to writing, spending time as a student, as a labourer, as a journalist and as a soldier, serving with the Special Forces in Chechnya. More recently Prilepin has come to the public attention not only as one of the best writers of his generation, but as a committed, and often controversial, political activist on behalf of the ‘Other Russia’ coalition. Prilepin lives in Nizhny Novgorod where he is the regional editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Ludmila Ulitskaya

Ludmila Ulitskaya was born in 1943 in the Urals and graduated from Moscow University with a Degree of Master in Biology. She worked in the Institute of Genetics as a scientist. Shortly before Perestroika she became Repertory Director of the Hebrew Theatre of Moscow and began writing scripts. Ulitskaya can be defined as one of the most far-reaching contemporary Russian writers with over two million books sold worldwide.

Enter the Rossica Young Translators Award 2012!

We are pleased to announce the launch of the 4th Rossica Young Translators Award!
If you speak or are studying Russian, and are 24 or under, why not enter this competition for the chance to win £500 and perhaps take the first step to becoming a professional literary translator. This year's writers are Dmitri Bykov, Viktor Pelevin and Figgle-Miggle. Closes 15th March.

Robert Porter

Robert Porter taught Russian Language and Literature at the University of Bristol for 25 years, eventually being promoted to a Personal Chair there. From 1999 until 2005 he was Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Glasgow. His monographs on Russian Literature include Four Contemporary Russian Writers (1989) and Russia's Alternative Prose (1994).

Martin Dewhirst

Martin Dewhirst has lectured on Russian language and literature at the University of Glasgow since 1964. He is particularly interested in twentieth century Russian literature and has compiled many bibliographies on the subject for The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies. He has worked periodically on the Samizdat staff of Radio Liberty in Munich and is also a specialist on Soviet censorship and archives.

Kosmos: A Soviet Space Odyssey - Part 2

5 - 28 August
The British Film Institute, in association with Academia Rossica, brings the best of Soviet science fiction to London. Highlights include Tarkovsky's Stalker and cult favourite Kin-Dza-Dza.

Kosmos: A Soviet Space Odyssey - Part 1

8 July - 21 August
The British Film Institute, in association with Academia Rossica, brings the best of Soviet science fiction to London.

Rossica 18

The Ties of Blood
Russian Literature from the 21st Century

This edition of Rossica takes on a new form! It is an Anthology of New Russian Writing, featuring both prose and poetry translated into English and edited by leading specialists.
The issue was launched at the first Russian Literature Week, in April 2008.

Rossica 21

A New Chapter. Part 1
Russian Writing from the 21st Century

The first of a special double issue of ROSSICA published to mark the occasion of Russia’s Guest of Honour status at the London Book Fair, an unprecedented event which brought 50 leading Russian writers to Britain. These two Rossicas set out to capture the range and depth of the literary scene in Russia, with Part 1 featuring well-established authors such as Vladimir Makanin and Olga Slavnikova alongside promising newcomers such as Zakhar Prilepin.

Press release - Russia: Global Market Forum, BEA 2012

Russia is to be the Guest of Honour at BookExpo America’s Global Market Forum in 2012 in New York. Sponsored by the country’s Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, and supported by Academia Rossica and Intelligent Television, a particularly broad set of events for both publishing professionals as well as a general cultural audience is currently being planned. The primary goals are to shed light on Russian publishing and contemporary literature in one of the world’s most diverse, yet least known book landscapes. “We are particularly enthusiastic to roll out the carpet for Russia with its long and prestigious literary tradition as well as help the match making between Russian and American book professionals”, says BEA’s event director Steven Rosato.

Russia to be guest of honour at the BookExpo America Global Market Forum 2012

Massive literary and professional programme, with 50 Russian writers and as many editors in preparation…

Rossica 21

A New Chapter. Part 1
Russian Writing from the 21st Century

The first of a special double issue of ROSSICA published to mark the occasion of Russia’s Guest of Honour status at the London Book Fair, an unprecedented event which brought 50 leading Russian writers to Britain. These two Rossicas set out to capture the range and depth of the literary scene in Russia, with Part 1 featuring well-established authors such as Vladimir Makanin and Olga Slavnikova alongside promising newcomers such as Zakhar Prilepin.

Introducing Russia's Debut generation

by Olga Slavnikova
A new generation of writers who never lived in the Soviet Union demands our attention, says the Russian Booker prize-winner Olga Slavnikova.
Russia has a new generation of prose writers who never lived in the Soviet Union – or were very young when it collapsed. They are new people and entirely new writers. They are free of the Soviet legacy in all senses.

Russia's cosmonauts of dystopia

by Claire Armistead
The spirit of Yuri Gagarin will launch a new breed of Russian writers in London next week.
One of the more surreal moments in the literary history of planet Earth will occur on Tuesday when Russian cosmonauts in orbit in the International Space Station will answer questions from visitors to the London Book Fair in Earls Court.

Revolutions and resurrections: How has Russia's literature changed?

Anna Aslanyan talks to its writers as the country takes centre-stage at the London Book Fair
The word "mainstream" came to the Russian language from English and has become more widespread than its native analogues. People often use it when discussing contemporary writing, but its meaning is not entirely clear. In fact, the position of mainstream literature in present-day Russia resembles that of its middle class: 20 years after the collapse of Communism, it has not yet fully established itself in society.

Guardian Books podcast: Polish literature and Russian science fiction

by Claire Armistead and Tim Maby
Claire Armitstead finds Yuri Gagarin still inspiring writers in Russia, guest of honour at next week's London Book Fair, while James Hopkin goes to Krakow in search of Poland's literary soul.
In the final week of the Guardian's tour of Europe we send novelist James Hopkin to Poland in pursuit of its literary soul. He meets publishers and bookshop entrepreneurs in Krakow, who are taking a great literary tradition into the 21st century.
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