Literary roundup: Prague marathons and Caucasian weddings

The New York Times has an article that uses the occasion and course of the Prague Marathon to venture into Czech dissidence and history as well as some very interesting issues of a renewal of interest in political debate among the younger generation of artists and writers and how this is controversial.

The whole article would be worth reading just for this brilliant quote by Czech writer Jáchym Topol: “Are we in east Europe, Central Europe or west Europe?” the Czech writer Jáchym Topol asked rhetorically one evening during the week I spent there…He compared being called Eastern European with being labeled a cannibal in the jungles of Africa, before concluding with a laugh, ‘Ask people here in Prague, ‘Are you East European?’ I don’t think so.”

Alisa Ganieva in RBTH

At Russia Beyond The Headlines there is a short excerpt from the new novel by Debut Prize-winning Russian writer from Dagestan Alisa Ganieva Bride and Groom. Ganieva’s story is fascinating, as the excerpt’s intro points out. Her prize winning novel, Salam to you, Dalgat, was presented as being written by a Dagestani man named Gulla Khirachev and the revelation that she had written it was met with a good bit of disbelief.

Ganieva’s work will finally be available in English this June when Deep Vellum will publish The Mountain and The Wall in a translation by Carol Apollonio. (I’m assuming this is a different novel than Bride and Groom, as mountains and walls are very different things than brides and grooms, at least for the first few years of marriage. Afterwards, it’s true, the immovability of the former and stubbornness of the latter have enough similarities that they could be confused in translation). Seriously, the novel is a translation of her debut. In an interview for Women in Translation Month last August it was cited by publisher Natasha Perova as one of the works she was most looking forward to seeing in English translation.

Read more about Alisa Ganieva here

Photo – From Café Nova Scena, MS

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