Two generations of Russian writers: internationally renowned Olga Slavnikova; five young laureates of “Debut” Russian national award; and Natalia Perova, Chief Editor of “Glass” that specialises in publishing contemporary Russian literature in English translation.
This year’s London Book Fair had Russia as its ‘market focus’, with the result that 50 writers came over and interesting discussions were scheduled almost every hour for three days. Among them were five young writers who are being published by the Debut publishing project, funded by billionaire Duma Deputy Andrey Skotch’s charitable Pokolenie fund. These were the finalists from over 30,000 entrants to a national competition. CamRuSS invited them, along with Olga Slavnikova and Natasha Perova who run the project, to visit Cambridge.
A lively tour had been arranged, and a big impression was made by the
organ-playing as they visited Jesus College chapel. After a late lunch at the Eagle, they went punting in glorious sunshine.
At 6pm in the Keynes Hall, Kings College, prose-writers Alisa Ganieva from Dagestan (who wrote under a male pseudonym and is now suspected of harbouring a captive youth in her garret), Pavel Kostin from Kaliningrad, Andrei Kuzechkin from Nizhny Novgorod, Igor Saveliev from Ufa in Bashkiria, and poet Lev Oborin from Moscow read from their works in Russian and English, from media varying from print to iPhone and iPad. Lev Oborin said they had been told Cambridge was a fairy-tale city, and were now entirely convinced. “A city of flowers”, concurred Alisa. We wish them every success in their future writing careers.
Review by Arch Tait
Date and Time: 16th April 2011, 6pm
Venue: Keynes’ Hall, King’s College, King’s Parade, Cambridge