press release


Cheyenne, WY (March 17, 2017) — In an announcement issued by its jury members, the Yasnaya Polyana Prize for Literature has nominated Maxim Nemtsov's Strana Korov, the Russian version of Cow Country, to its prestigious longlist. The prize is given annually to recognize "the most distinctive and most important literature of the twenty-first century" and includes cash awards of 1.2 million rubles for the author whose book was translated and 500,000 rubles for the book's translator himself.

When told of the award, Natalie Zeldner, whose small publishing house first published Cow Country in English, was quick to acknowledge its significance. "We are so proud and humbled to receive this nomination on behalf of our title Cow Country, which is available for purchase both online and at various retail outlets around Cow Eye Junction. To be honest, it wasn't always easy with this particular title, but we're very happy it is finally getting the recognition it deserves."

In email correspondence, the book's author Adrian Jones Pearson thanked the jury for its nomination but took exception to Zeldner's claims of provenance. "Natalie is over-reaching," Pearson wrote in his email. "Why would this prize have anything to do with me or, especially, with her? All credit goes to the translator, whose literary creation is the one being recognized. Max is the translator and he chose every word of the Russian text. He is the author and creator of that literary work. My novel, on the other hand, was written in the English language and hasn't won shit."

The Yasnaya Polyana Prize for Literature was first given in 2003 and has included such laureates as Andrei Bitov, Liudmila Saraskina and Roman Senchin. The category for foreign literature in translation was introduced in 2015 to consider "the most important literary works of the 21st century written after 2000 and published in the Russian language." Previous winners have included Ekaterina Ilina (2015) for her translation of Ruth Ozeki's Moia Ryba Budet Zhit' and Apollinaria Avrutina (2016) for her translation of Orhan Pamuk's Moi Strannyie Mysli.

The longlist for the prize in International Literature is established by experts in the publishing field and released to the public in April. There will be no short list, and the winner, chosen directly from the longlist, will be announced in October.

More info on the Yasnaya Polyana Prize:

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CONTACT: Natalie Zeldner, Editor, Cow Eye Press

ABOUT COW EYE PRESS: Cow Eye Press is a publishing house specializing in literary fiction with an intercultural focus. Its readers enjoy works that challenge the mind and enrich the soul by exploring the boundaries of culture and society. For more information, visit the Cow Eye Press website at

ABOUT THE YASNAYA POLYANA PRIZE: The Yasnaya Polyana Prize for Literature was created in 2003 "to support classical traditions and current trends in contemporary Russian literature." More information on the award (including the full list of nominated titles) can be found at Yasnaya Polyana Prize.

ABOUT MAXIM NEMTSOV: Max Nemtsov is a prominent literary translator specializing in alternative and counter-culture works of American literature. He has translated the novels of Jack Kerouak, John Kennedy Toole, Charles Bukowski, Thomas Pynchon, and many others. More information on Max and his other projects can be found at: Speaking in Tongues, and on his Facebook page.