The Flower Cross, a novel written in old Russian language by Elena Koliadina--which was published exclusively online--has won the 19th Russian Booker Prize and 600,000 rubles (about $19,200) in prize money. Russia’s biggest publisher, Publisher AST, will publish a print edition of the book this month.
Koliadina’s book beat out Oleg Zaionchkovsky’s Happiness Is Possible, Mariam Petrosian’s The House in Which…, German Sadulaev’s The Shalinsky Raid, Andrei Khemlin’s The Journey of Khanuman to Lolland, and Margarita Khemlin’s Klotsvog. Each of the shortlisted authors will receive 60,000 rubles (about $1,900). The House in Which… won the third prize in Readers’ Choice Award at the 2009 Big Book Award.
This year, 95 titles were nominated for the award, and many were surprised when none of the well-known literary names were shortlisted. The Russian Booker is the oldest and one of the most prestigious awards in the country. It awards fiction titles written in Russian. This year, the prize money was upped from 500,000 rubles to 600,000 for the top title, while finalists now receive an additional 10,000 rubles each.