PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
Vladimir Sharov has just won The Russian Booker Prize for 'Back to Egypt' having been one of the winners a few days before in The Russian Big Book Prize.
Before & During Dedalus £12.99/$19.99 is the only novel of Vladimir Sharov's to be translated into English. Oliver Ready will shortly begin work on translating Sharov's novel The Rehearsals for Dedalus.
It is difficult to categorise Sharov's work but it is hard not to think what you are reading is awe-inspiringly brilliant and in Vladimir Sharov Russian has a contemporary novelist who can be put side by side with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
'I’m not even sure where or how to begin describing Before & During: this complex novel’s frame story involves a man checking himself into a psychiatric hospital, where he begins compiling stories for a Memorial Book. The novel’s primary character, though, turns out to be Madame de Staël, who seems to give birth to just about everyone, including herself. I’ve seen the word “phantasmagoria” used to describe the book more than once, and it’s more than appropriate for Sharov’s quirky combination of religion, Russian history, and culture… Stalin, Lenin, Scriabin, and Tolstoy are among the real-life figures who put in appearances, making for alternative history at its most peculiar. Before & During has a peculiar charm, too: I don’t usually have much patience for monologues but something about the book’s wackiness and, I’m sure, Oliver Ready’s lucid translation, mesmerized me and I finished, even though I’m not exactly sure what I read.'
Lisa Hayden in Lizok's Bookshelf
Judith Landry's translation of The Mussolini Canal by Antonio Pennacchi has been longlisted for the IMPAC Prize 2015.