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Pushkin House Announces Short List for 2024 Book Prize

The Pushkin House has announced six books shortlisted for its 2024 Book Prize. The books cover a broad range of topics, time periods and places, from the mountain ranges of the Caucasus in the south to the Arctic snowfields in the north, from Stalin’s labor camps to the war Russia is waging in Ukraine today, from the intersection of politics and popular culture under Vladimir Putin to a fractured portrait of the Russian nation in as it tumbles towards and then commits to war.

The six books are:

  • High Caucasus: A Mountain Quest in Russia's Haunted Hinterland by Tom Parfitt
  • I Love Russia: Reporting from a Lost Country by Elena Kostyuchenko
  • The Russo-Ukrainian War by Serhii Plokhy
  • Words and Silences: Nenets Reindeer Herders and Russian Evangelical Missionaries in the Post-Soviet Arctic by Laur Vallikivi
  • Russian Style: Performing Gender, Power, and Putinism by Julie A. Cassiday
  • The Gulag Doctors: Life, Death, and Medicine in Stalin's Labour Camps by Dan Healey

The decision will be made by five judges, whose combined expertise is as vast of the topics and books under consideration. They are:

  • Philip Ross Bullock, Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor in Russian at Wadham College, and a former academic director of the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH);
  • Ruth Maclennan, artist and researcher whose work includes films, photographs, performances and writing. She has made films in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Arctic Russia, many of which, along with her photographs, explore how the climate emergency has affected and altered experiences of place and landscape;
  • Anna Narinskaya, author, journalist, curator, and documentary filmmaker, whose works have won the Intermuseum and the Leipzig Book Fair awards. She writes in Berlin for the "Tagesspiegel" and the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”;
  • Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, Professor of Russian Politics and Director of the King's Russia Institute at King’s College London, whose recent books include the award-winning "The Red Mirror: Putin's Leadership and Russia's Insecure Identity" and "The Afterlife of the Soviet Man: Rethinking Homo Sovieticus"; and
  • Emma Widdis, Professor of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge, who teaches widely on Russian and Soviet cinema and the theory of cinema, has published extensively on Russian and Soviet culture, and is interested in the relationship between culture and ideology in the early Soviet period.

The Pushkin House Book Prize 2024 will be awarded at a ceremony on June 14, 2024 at the Swedenborg House in London, hosted by Andrew Jack, founder of the Prize, and Elena Sudakova, Executive Director of Pushkin House. A £10,000 prize will be awarded to the winning author. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Pushkin House is an independent cultural center founded in 1954 by a group of Russian emigres and British Russophiles. It has always been a non-political organization that has been a venue for events that represent all variety of views about Russia and Russian culture, past, present and future. Today they are “committed to raising important and sometimes uncomfortable questions about Russia’s past and present, including issues of decolonization and the ideologically charged legacy of Russian culture today, particularly in light of current events in Ukraine.”

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