The most famous novels that received the award "Russian Booker"

The Russian Booker Prize - perhaps the most prestigious literary prize of our country - is awarded annually for the best novel in Russian. We remembered the most interesting novels. Check if you read everything - and if not, feel free to expand your book list.

1994: Bulat Okudzhava "Abolished Theater"

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Bulat Okudzhava "Abolished Theater"

Okudzhava is better known to a wide circle of readers as a Soviet songwriter, so his prose is in the shadow of his own lyrics. Of course, unfairly. The novel “Abolished Theater” is a family chronicle, artistically meaningful collective biography of the father, mother, grandmother and close relatives of the future poet and writer. The family history reflects the history of the Soviet country with all its ups and tragedies: from the revolutionary enthusiasm of 1917 to the millstones of repression that began their terrible work in the 1930s (father, two uncles and aunt Okudzhava were shot, the mother spent nine years in the camps) .The portrait of the era, abolished by the passage of time, is given through the prism of children's impressions and memories of the author: the child’s view of the theater of life is more sincere ... and we all know that "the mouth of the baby speaks truth."

The collapse of illusions is always painful

1995: Georgiy Vladimov "The General and His Army"

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George Vladimov "The General and His Army"

One of the most scandalous books in Russian literature of the 90s: offering an alternative history of the events of the Great Patriotic War in 1943 on the first Ukrainian front, Vladimov leads German General Guderian and Soviet General Vlasov, who has turned to the side of the Hitlerites, interesting, large-scale, and worthy of understanding. However, under the guise of a military history novel there is a psychological novel that explores the impact of war on a person. Characters and battlegrounds are almost all fictional, although it is possible to guess their real prototypes: Predslavl - Kiev, Kobrisov - Chibisov. The author focuses on the fate of General Kobrisov, who performs the combat mission: liberating the bridgehead Myryatin (this is the approach to Predslavl, occupied by the Vlasov battalions), under the hood of the Soviet counterintelligence.In 2001, the novel received another award - "Russian Booker of the Decade".

Every step of man is a mistake, unless he is guided by love and mercy

2000: Mikhail Shishkin "Taking of Ismail"

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Mikhail Shishkin "Taking Ishmael"

Total novel - this is how the writer defined the genre of his creation. Critics call the work no less capacious: the novel-ark. The work mixes different historical epochs, all styles of the Russian language, fictional and real-life faces, everyday scenes and large-scale events for all of Russia, the Russian Empire, the USSR and Russia. The author emphasizes: the main thing is not the plot, crumbling into many independent sketches, micro-stories, text fragments, and not a gallery of motley characters, the main thing is polyphonic, plastic, changing its appearance living language, which all this is outlined. The title of the book is not without irony given by the episode, which tells about a boy, training mice, to set the scene "The Capture of Ishmael." Also in the novel there is a phrase that life must be taken like a fortress.

And that there is a soul, if not iron, which secretes in the form of secretion, which is already familiar to the Greeks, the need for love

2001: Lyudmila Ulitskaya "The Case of Kukotsky"

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Lyudmila Ulitskaya "Kazus Kukotsky"

Translated from Latin, "incident" - an incident, incident, a difficult case. Such an incident of nature becomes for the gynecologist professor Pavel Kukotsky the ability of “intrasurgery” - something between x-ray vision and ultrasound diagnostics. The duration of the novel is 40–60s. In the USSR, there is a campaign against genetics, many innovative scientific projects are suspected, while Kukotsky is trying to achieve improvements in Soviet health care, in particular, he advocates the legalization of abortions. Life does not indulge either a brilliant doctor or his relatives. And the image of a pregnant woman, a woman in labor with whom the motives of torment and secrets of motherhood, the unity of flesh and soul are connected, in Ulitskaya’s novel is the image of Russia itself.

Love is at the cellular level - that's the essence of my discovery. All laws are concentrated in it - the law of conservation of energy, and the law of conservation of matter. And chemistry, and physics, and mathematics

2011: Alexander Chudakov "The haze lays down on the old steps ..."

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Alexander Chudakov "Lies darkness on the old steps ..."

In 2001, the novel “The haze lays down on the old steps ...” claimed for “Booker”, but the award went to “Casus Kukotsky”. Ten years later, the award committee still appreciated Chudakov’s book and noted it an honorary “Russian Booker of the Decade” (alas, posthumously: the writer did not become in 2005).

The author described the narration about the life of exiled settlers in northern Kazakhstan in the 1940s – 1950s as idyllic novels. Probably because the book is largely autobiographical, and the difficult years of survival in the new homeland are also the years of childhood for the narrator, warmed by the love and care of loved ones. During the day, the whole family is busy with the housekeeping: they plant potatoes, make candles, cook beets to get sugar, process the skins. But in the evenings, households read, discuss what they read, have heart-to-heart conversations and intellectual debates, and lay the table for a simple lunch or dinner according to all the rules of table etiquette. Such people will always be stronger than circumstances.

... history is not first in the form of tragedy, and then - in the form of farce. And often immediately - in the form of farce. But this farce is both tragedy.

2014: Vladimir Sharov "Return to Egypt"

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Vladimir Sharov "Return to Egypt"

In 1847 Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol's nonfiction work “Selected passages from correspondence with friends” was published. In it, the classic tried on the role of not a writer, but a philosopher and a teacher of life. Vladimir Sharov with his novel “Return to Egypt” enters into a creative dialogue with the genius and his worldview.The book of Sharov is built as a novel in letters, and its plot is a correspondence of indirect descendants of Gogol (he did not have children), who dreamed that literary talent would reappear in their family and end the poem Dead Souls. And not just a great ancestor for the sake of, but also for the sake of changing the fate of Russia for the better. The main addressee of letters is the namesake of the classic Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, for relatives just Kolya, who lives in the twentieth century. Happiness and burden of honorable kinship, he, like other participants in correspondence, bears with pride, often reaching arrogance.

Nowadays dreams are true reality, only in them we live

2016: Peter Aleshkovsky "Fortress"

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Peter Aleshkovsky "Fortress"

The archaeologist, historian Ivan Maltsov (last name talking, hints at the type of "little man" of our time) lives in an old quiet town with an assumed name Derevsk and writes a work about the times of the Golden Horde. Maltsov does not recognize such benefits of civilization as smart gadgets and the Internet, does not know how to adapt to people and circumstances for the sake of a satisfying life, but he treats his past and his artifacts with piety. The scientist dreams of the young Mongolian governor Tugan Shona (and, perhaps, in a past life,If you believe in reincarnation, Maltsov was one), but in our reality he has to “defend” the ancient Derevsk fortress from the encroachments of officials and businessmen who want to turn it into an object of income. Whose inner strength will be stronger: the one that is built on honesty, or the one that rests on a thirst for profit and unprincipledness?

Memory is all we have left. Memory is our life, nothing else.