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2009 Rossica Translation Prize

Maria Galina Iramifications
a novel
translated by Amanda Love Darragh

Published by Glas in 2008
ISBN 978-5-717200-82-0

From the Judges: 'As Galina tells us, they are a comic miniaturisation of Solomon the Wise and Alexander the Great. The snappy dialogues, the ludicrous plot-twists and the array of way out characters are beautifully rendered and sustained in Amanda Love Darragh's translation.'

Amanda Love Darragh lives in Richmond with her husband and two children (and Shuba the cat). She has translated two short stories and this novel by Maria Galina. She has also translated three novellas by Mikhail Levitin (published together by Glas as A Jewish God in Paris).

Maria Galina is one of the most interesting authors among those who made their names in the turbulent 1990s. She writes both literary and science fiction (with ten SF books to her credit). She is also a noted poet, a thoughtful critic, and translator of English and American science fiction, in all of which she excels. She is a winner of many important prizes for her prose and poetry and her critical essays. A graduate from Odessa University majoring in sea biology she took part in several sea expeditions but in 1995 she gave up biology and took up writing professionally. Apart from numerous Russian publications she has three books published in Poland and her work has been included in various anthologies of Russian writing abroad (Russian Women Poets: Modern Poetry in Translation, UCL, London, 2002; and Amerika. Russian Writers View the United States, Dalkey Archive Press).

Glas series of New Russian Writing is the most comprehensive source for contemporary Russian literature in translation - a showcase for the literary landmarks of the past decade. Based in Moscow, Glas is a 'joint venture' of UK and US translators with Russian editors and critics, who believe that the great Russian literary tradition lives on. Most recent Russian authors appeared in English for the first time through the work of Glas with some being later picked up by publishers in other countries.

The central theme of 'Iramifications' is the eternal misunderstanding between East and West. Misconceptions and the notion of identity are explored on a journey from Odessa to the symbolic oriental city of Iram, via the complexity of friendships and the blurring of borders between fantasy and reality. Tales are woven, deserts are crossed, and battles are fought. East and West are worlds apart... or are they?