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November 21, 2019
ARTS & LEISURE

Mikhail Shishkin, the most important contemporary Russian writer, in Romania



The famous writer Mikhail Shishkin, considered to be the biggest Russian author of the moment and the most important Russian candidate to the Nobel Prize for Literature, will meet Friday, October 4, starting 6.30 PM, with the public of Bucharest at the invitation of Curtea Veche Publishing. The event will be hosted by Galeriile Artmark (Cesianu-Racovita Palace, Street C.A. Rosetti no. 5, 1st floor) and will mark the launching of the book ‘Maiden’s Hair’ – which received the highest praise of international critics. In Romania, the writer is famous and most appreciated for his ‘Letter Book,’ translated by the ‘Curtea Veche Publishing’ house in 2012, winner of the Russia’s most important literature prize, The Big Book (Bolshaja Kniga). Mikhail Shishkin actually is the only writer that won all the three important literature awards of Russia, the Russian Booker Award (Russkii Buker, 2000), The Big Book Award (Bolshaja Kniga, 2006, 2011) and the National Bestseller Prize (Nacionalnyi Bestseller, 2005). Apart from the aforementioned prizes, we was also rewarded with prestigious international awards: the Zurich Canton Award (2000), Prix Du Meilleur Livre Etranger (in the Essay section – 2005, the Grinzane Cavour Award in 2007, the International Award for Literature Haus der Kulturen der Weltin 2011. Three of his novels were adapted and played in theatres: Letter Book at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre, Vziatie Izmaila at the MOST Theatre, and Maiden’s Hair at the Piotr Fomenko Workshop.
The ‘Maiden’s Hair’, which will launch Friday, tells the story of a Russian interpreter working in a Swiss bureau for asylum seekers, who struggles to adapt to the best of the possible worlds, but is haunted by the stories he is told. The transcripts of the interviews he attends to insinuate themselves into the novel, as well as into his inner life. In Shishkin’s words, “the Maiden’s Hair is not a novel that must be understood.” Reality resides in language, the identity of characters is uncertain, supported by a complicate and maddening intrigue. The writer was born in 1961 at Moscow and studied at the Pedagogical Institute of the Russian capital. After graduation, he worked as a journalist, latter an English and German teacher. In 1995 he moved to Switzerland, where he lives now. Shishkin currently works as interpreter assisting Swiss authorities in interviewing asylum seekers from Russia and other ex-Soviet states.
Conference about the Russian language in Bucharest
Starting today until October 7, Bucharest is also hosting the international conference ‘Russian language and the dialogue of cultures in the contemporary world,’ dedicated to 80 years of teaching the Russian language and literature in Romania. The main organisers are the International Association of Russian language and literature professors (AIPLLR), the Romanian Association of Russian language and literature professors, the Romanian Ministry of Education, the University of Bucharest, the Russian and Slavic Philology Department, the Russian Cultural Centre of the ‘Russkiy mir’ Foundation at the Academy of Economic Studies, the Lipovan Russian Community, the Embassy of the Russian Federation. More than 100 professors of Russian language from 20 countries are expected to attend the conference. The formal opening event is scheduled for Friday, starting 9.00 AM, at the Academy of Economic Studies. The proceedings will continue on October 5, at the Foreign Languages Faculty of the University of Bucharest.

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