Celebrating the 10th year of Russia’s Debut Prize for young writers
In the early 1990s the Booker Prize, brought to Russia from Britain, gave new impetus to the Russian novel. A decade later came the Debut Prize for young authors, now celebrating its tenth year. The authors in this prose anthology come from various parts of Russia - none of them ever lived in the Soviet Union.
Unlike many older writers, they are not fighting the Soviet past. Why the title Squaring the Circle? The authors live in a system of multiple uncertainties. To solve what is insoluble, to do what is undoable: that is the demand made of a young person today by unpredictable Russian reality. There are no guarantees, but anything is possible. Theirs is a fundamentally new way of thinking, a new way of seeing the world.
Today an unusually gifted generation is entering Russian literature. Literature has not seen such an influx of energy in a long time. This new generation writing in Russian — both the individual writers and the phenomenon as a whole — deserves great attention.
“A genuine socio-cultural happening.”
“From its inception the Debut has been the most popular and representative of prizes, not unlike a literary census of hidden talents.”
Olga Slavnikova is the director of the Debut Prize, and an internationally-revowned novelist and Russian Booker Prize winner.
Natasha Perova is the editor-in-chief of Glas New Russian Writing.
Also available as an eBook here.