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Read Russia

The Read Russia Prize is the only Russian award that recognizes outstanding translations of works of Russian literature into foreign languages. The Read Russia Prize was established in 2011 by the Institute for Literary Translation, an autonomous nonprofit organization. The competition is conducted biennially with support from the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communication (Rospechat’) and the Boris N. Yeltsin Presidential Center. The prize is awarded to a translator (or group of translators) for outstanding translations of prose and poetry works from Russian into a foreign language and published by a foreign publisher during the previous two years.

The Read Russia Prize aims to:

·         popularize works of Russian literature,

·         encourage foreign translators who translate Russian literature into other languages,

·         encourage foreign publishers who publish translations of Russian literature, and

·         strengthen and develop cultural ties between Russia and other countries.


Prize winners in each category are the translator(s) and the publisher that released the book. Winners receive special award certificates and medallions as well as monetary awards. Publishers receive a grant to cover expenses for the translation of another work of Russian literature.


Members of the Read Russia Prize jury are:

·         Vsevolod Bagno, Director, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia);

·         Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Professor, Slavist, Board Member of the Poland-Russia Society, (Poland);

·         Vladimir Grigoriev, Deputy Head of Rospechat (Russia);

·         Adriano del Asta, Professor, Catholic University of Milan (Italy);

·         Alexander Drozdov, Executive Director, Boris N. Yeltsin Presidential Center (Russia);

·         Lu Limin, Professor, President, Chinese Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (China);

·         Alexander Livergant, Translator, Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Literature journal (Russia);

·         Peter Mayer, President, The Overlook Press publishing house (United States);

·         Georges Nivat, Literary Historian, Professor, University of Geneva (France-Switzerland); and

·         Rafael Guzman Tirado, Vice President of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature, Instructor, Department of Slavic Philology, University of Granada, Professor (Spain).


Members of the Read Russia Prize’s board of trustees are well-known Russian government, cultural, and public figures: Petr Aven, Naina Yeltsina, Mikhail Piotrovskii, Viacheslav Nikonov, Kirill Razlogov, Mikhail Seslavinskii, Natalia Solzhenitsyn, and Vladimir Spivakov.


Candidates for the Read Russia Award may be nominated by publishers; professional associations; educational, cultural, and academic organizations; as well as individuals, including the translators themselves.


Winners of the Read Russia Award


First Season

Second Season

Nineteenth-Century Classic Russian Literature

Víctor Gallego Ballesteros, Spain, for his translation of Lev Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina. Publisher: Alba.


Alejandro Ariel Gonzales, Argentina, for his translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella The Double. Publisher: Eterna Cadencia.

Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (works written before 1990)

John Elsworth, Great Britain, for his translation of Andrei Bely’s novel Petersburg. Publisher: Pushkin Press.

Alexander Nitzberg, Germany-Austria, for his translation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Master and Margarita. Publisher: Galiani Berlin.

Contemporary Russian Literature (works written after 1990)

Hélène Henry-Safier, France, for her translation of Dmitrii Bykov’s Pasternak. Publisher: Fayard.

Marian Schwartz, United States, for her translation of Leonid Yuzefovich’s novel Harlequin’s Costume. Publisher: Glagoslav Publications.


Alessandro Niero, Italy, for his translation of Dmitrii Prigov’s Thirty Three Texts. Publisher: Terra Ferma.

Liu Wenfei, China, for his translation of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. Publisher: China Yuhang Publishing House.

Based on results of the Read Russia Prize’s first two seasons, eight agreements have been made with publishers for new translations of works of Russian literature.






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