The shortlist for the inaugural Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, sponsored by Waterstones, “shows the extent of vibrant writing on the Russian speaking world which can help promote mutual understanding” said Andrew Jack of the Financial Times.
The announcement took place this evening at the Russian Bookshop at Waterstones Piccadilly. “We are excited to have such a strong shortlist in the first year of the Pushkin Prize” added Jack who is co-chairman of Pushkin House.
The prize is open to any popular non-fiction books written in English on Russia, or the Russian-speaking world, and attracted more than 40 entries, including translations from both German and French. Pushkin House, which is London’s leading centre for Russian Arts, hopes the prize will encourage and reward the very best non-fiction writing on Russia, whilst promoting serious discussion on the issues raised.
The list takes in the lost aristocracy after the revolution, in Former People; the emergence of Stalin’s Terror, inMoscow, 1937; a look back to Cold War Russia, in The Iron Curtain, and Soviet Baby Boomers; the growth of Russia’s oil industry in Wheel of Fortune; and the Man Without a Face, Vladimir Putin.
The shortlist in full:
The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956, Anne Applebaum (Allen Lane) Read an extract
Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Masha Gessen (Granta)
Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Fortune in Russia, Thane Gustafson (Harvard University Press)
Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia’s Post War Generation, Donald J Raleigh (Harvard University Press)
Moscow, 1937, Karl Schlöegel (Polity Press)
Former People: The Last Days of Russia’s Aristocracy, Douglas Smith (Macmillan)
The winner will be announced at the Hay Festival on Wednesday 29th May at 6pm, and will win a cash prize of £5,000.