Winner of the Special Project Super-NOS Announced in New York City
In 2020 the NOS Literary Prize, established by the Mikhail Prokhorov Charitable Foundation, once again expanded its geographical boundaries and format.
The public debates of the Super-NOS special project took place at Barnard College (New York City), on February 4, 2020. The discussion figured as the main event of the literary festival organized by the Harriman Institute (Columbia University) with the support of the Mikhail Prokhorov Charitable Foundation, and the Barnard and Columbia Departments of Slavic Languages.
The debates’ starting point was the shortlist, comprised of the winners of all previous NOS prizes from the years 2009-19.
Vladimir Sorokin’s “The Blizzard” (Ìåòåëü) was awarded first place. His novella was chosen by the judges, experts, and the public from all previous NOS winners of the previous decade as the best literary work. Sorokin will receive a trophy made especially for NOS by the artist Oleg Osmuk.
The moderators of the debate included Irina Prokhorova, cofounder of the Mikhail Prokhorov Charitable Foundation and editor-in-chief of the New Literary Observer magazine and publishing house, and Mark Lipovetsky, organizer of the Super-NOS Literary Festival in New York and Professor of Slavic Languages at Columbia University.
The main point of debate centered on whether the jury and experts believed that the 2010s was best expressed by Sorokin’s novella The Blizzard or whether the spirit of the decade was better represented by Maria Stepanova’s In Memoriam: Memory. After the jury, experts and the audience had voted, the two books were tied. The jury’s vote in the final round broke the tie.
Previous recipients of the NOS Literary Prize (2009-2019):
2009: Lena Eltang, Stone Maples
2010: Vladimir Sorokin, The Blizzard
2011: Igor Vishnevetsky, Leningrad
2012: Lev Rubinstein, Signs of Attention
2013: Andrei Ivanov, Harbin Moths
2014: Alexei Tsvetkov Jr., The King of the Drowned
2015: Danila Zaitsev, The Story and Life of Danila Terentievich Zaitsev
2016: Boris Lego, Twilight Stories
2017: Vladimir Sorokin, Manaraga
2018: Maria Stepanova, Memory: In Memoriam
2019: Alexander Stessin, New York Rounds
Super NOS Jury:
· Chair: Anna Narinskaya, journalist, literary critic and curator
· Polina Barskova, poet, essayist playwright, scholar, professor of Russian at Hampshire and Amherst Colleges
· Eliot Borenstein, Professor of Russian Studies and Slavic Studies, Senior Academic Convenor for the Global Network, New York University
· Alexander Genis, Russian and American writer, TV host and cultural critic
· Sergei Oushakine, Professor Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literature at Princeton University
· Lara Vapnyar, American writer of Russian descent, Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia University
Graduate Student Experts:
· Tatiana Efremova, Ph.D. Candidate, Comparative Literature, New York University
· Tomi Haxhi, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Slavic Languages, Columbia University
· Natalia Klimova, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University
· Max Lawton, translator, novelist, and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Slavic Languages, Columbia University
Video of the debates can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NeLyikW3Cg&feature=youtu.be