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Old 11-01-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
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Region Nominations November 2012

Help us select what the MR Literary Club will read for November 2012!

The nominations will run for up to three days until November 5 or until five works have made the list.

Final voting in a new poll will begin by November 5, where the month's selection will be decided.

The category for this month is:

Central Asia, East Europe & Russia, as chosen in the poll

This month is a two-part process:

The first part begins with a ONE-DAY POLL to determine the region we will use. It is multiple choice and you may choose as many options as you like when voting. This voting is separate from your nominations. There are no nominations during the poll, only voting. I will not vote in the poll, and if there is a tie, I will break it.

As soon as the poll is over and the region is determined, then the second part (nominations) starts and you can begin nominating like normal. Nominations can be set in any region, but they should be written by an author from that region.


-Regions are named in the poll and colour-coded on the map. Region names are generalities and not exact.

-If a country or territory is too small to show regional colour on the map, it will be part of the region closest to it physically and culturally. If you are unsure, just ask.

-I had help making the regions list that was much appreciated.

-Previously chosen regions currently ineligible: Latin America

Once the poll is over and nominations begin:

In order for a work to be included in the poll it needs four nominations - the original nomination plus three supporting.

Each participant has four nominations to use. You can nominate a new work for consideration or you can support (second, third or fourth) a work that has already been nominated by another person.

To nominate a work just post a message with your nomination. If you are the first to nominate a work, it's always nice to provide an abstract to the work so others may consider their level of interest.

What is literature for the purposes of this club? A superior work of lasting merit that enriches the mind. Often it is important, challenging, critically acclaimed. It may be from ancient times to today; it may be from anywhere in the world; it may be obscure or famous, short or long; it may be a story, a novel, a play, a poem, an essay or another written form. If you are unsure if a work would be considered literature, just ask!

The floor is now open!


Nominations are now closed. Final results:

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Russia - Fully nominated
In favour - caleb72, Billi, paola, Hamlet53

This book has been called the grandfather of dystopian fiction, directly influencing George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, Ayn Rand's Anthem and Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano.

Although the Russian work is probably in the public domain, the English translations are (probably) not. However, there are 3 different versions that seem commonly available at different prices.

Amazon US (1)
Amazon US (2)
Amazon US (3)

B&N (1)
B&N (2)
B&N (3)

Kobo (1)

There is also a German version of "Wir" in our MobileRead library:
(other formats also available)

Purge by Sofi Oksanen, Estonia - Fully nominated
In favour - issybird, sun surfer, Hamlet53, paola

A 2008 novel by Estonian author Sofi Oksanen. Available in ebook.

Briefly, Purge is a story of two women forced to confront their own dark pasts, of collusion and resistance, of rape and sexual slavery set against the backdrop of the Soviet occupation of Estonia. (from Wikipedia).

A review from The Guardian.

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, Russia - Fully nominated
In favour - sun surfer, Hamlet53, paola, caleb72

From Amazon-

First published in Italy in 1957 amid international controversy, Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago's love for the tender and beautiful Lara, the very embodiment of the pain and chaos of those cataclysmic times...A classic of world literature.

“One of the very great books of our time.” —The New Yorker

“A welcome opportunity for anyone who has already read Dr. Zhivago to revisit it and experience a richly rewarding fresh take on an epic tale. For those coming to it for the first time it is a chance to read one of the greatest novels of all times.” —New York Journal of Books

“As well as a gripping story, Doctor Zhivago is a work of meditation and quiet challenge. Pasternak meant every word of it. I believe he would be pleased with the powerful fidelity of the translation now before us.” —Angela Livingstone, The Times Literary Supplement (London)

About the Author:

A poet, translator, and novelist, Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow in 1890. In 1958 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but, facing threats from Soviet authorities, refused the prize. He lived in virtual exile in an artists’ community near Moscow until his death in 1960.

The First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russia - 1
In favour - Hamlet53

This is available as an e-book.

The First Circle of Dante's Hell -- where the souls of the pre-Christian philosophers are doomed to exist throughout eternity -- stands in this novel as a metaphor for certain penal institutions of Stalin's Russia. Set in Moscow during a three-day period in December 1949, The First Circle is the story of the prisoner Gleb Nerzhin, a brilliant mathematician. At the age of thirty-one, Nerzhin has, like the author, survived the war years on the German front and the post-war years in a succession of Russian prisons and labor camps. His story is interwoven with the stories of a dozen fellow prisoners -- each an unforgettable human being -- from the prison janitor to the tormented Marxist intellectual who designed the Dnieper dam; of the reigning elite and their conflicted subordinates; and of the women, wretched or privileged, bound to these men. As we follow Nerzhin's fortunes, we become familiar with the inner paths of an entire society -- one vast Inferno -- and the diverse ways in which different men and women managed, or failed, to live within it.While Solzhenitsyn portrays the exercise of moral and political authority at all levels of the hierarchy (even devoting a few chapters to a portrait of a failing Stalin), the novel's principal setting is a special prison where inmates conduct scientific research. Through his treatment of the prisoners, the secret police, and the non-prisoner Muscovites trying to lead honest lives during this difficult period, Solzhenitsyn explores the problems of complicity and conscience, ends and means. Included are many reflections on Soviet history of the sort Solzhenitsyn expanded in The Gulag Archipelago.

Off the Beaten Tracks: Stories by Russian Hitchhikers by Irina Bogatyreva, Igor Savelyev and Tatiana Mazepina, Russia - 2
In favour - sun surfer, jemc

From Amazon:

By and about Russian hitchhikers, these stories take the reader along the endless roads of central Russia, the Urals, the Altai, Siberia, and beyond. In energetic and vivid prose they depict all sorts of curious Russian types: exotic adventures in far-flung places, the complex psychological relationships that develop on the road, and these hitchhikers' inexplicable passion for tramping. "In via veritas" is their motto. The authors are all winners of the Debut Prize, and will present the book at BEA in 2012 in New York.

Igor Savelyev was born in 1983 in Ufa (Bashkiria). He holds a degree in Philology from Ufa University and is now at work on his Ph.D. A short novel based on his experiences hitchhiking was a finalist for both the Debut and Belkin prizes in 2004. Critics have noted his “masterful, finely chiseled style based on brilliant counterpoints like a virtuoso music piece” and have said of his writing “Here realism is bordering on phantasmagoria, a striking sample of new-generation psychological prose.”

Irina Bogatyreva, born in 1982 on the Volga, is widely published in the leading literary magazines and has won several literary prizes, including the Debut Prize for her novel AUTO-STOP. She also has several other books to her credit.

Tatiana Mazepina is the latest winner of the Debut Prize for her travelogue about her Eastern travels. She is a member of the "Society of Free Travellers". She works as a journalist writing on religious matters.

The Silent Steppe by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov, Kazakhstan - 3
In favour - paola, sun surfer, issybird

The Silent Steppe is an enthralling story of a family living through one of the most traumatic periods of Soviet history, as seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in a family of Kazakh nomads. It encompasses the horrors of political persecution and famine in the 1930s, and culminates in the author's first hand account of the Battle of Stalingrad and his long trek home through freezing winter conditions after being wounded and discharged from the Red Army.

(from here)

Available as pbook here

In the US, libraries that borrow from WorldCat shouldn't have a problem obtaining a copy.

Last edited by sun surfer; 11-05-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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