The Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Literature Prize

In 1997 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn fulfilled a dream he had harbored ever since receiving the Nobel Prize – to establish a literature prize in Russia, one that, as he said, would “not overlook the worthy” authors, nor “reward the empty” ones.

The mission of the prize is to recognize Russian literature, in all its genres.  Laureates can be prose writers, poets, playwrights, literary critics and scholars of literature.  The prize has been expanded to incorporate contributions to the study of Russian culture, history and social thought.  What unites all laureates is that their work must be in the Russian language and written in Russia at any time after the 1917 Revolution.  In a small minority of cases, laureates have been recognized posthumously. A laureate cannot receive the award twice.

For almost twenty years now, the announcement of the Solzhenitsyn Literary Prize every March, and the award ceremony held shortly after Easter, have become important events in Russian literary life.  While the prize has been awarded mainly to prose writers and poets, the list of recipients includes linguists, literary critics, directors and actors who have brought literature to the screen.

One of the distinguishing features of the prize is that it is the only one in Russia to be founded “for writers by a writer”.  The $25,000 annual prize is funded from the proceeds of worldwide publications of The Gulag Archipelago.


Laureates

2017
Vladimir Petrovich Enisherlov, historic preservationist

2016
Grigori Mikhailovich Kruzhkov, poet and translator

2015
Sergei Vasilievich Zhenovach, theater director

2014  
Irina Bentsionovna Rodnianskaia, literary critic

2013
Maksim Albertovich Amelin, poet, translator, publisher

2012
Oleg Olegovich Pavlov, writer

2011
Elena Tsezarevna Chukovskaya, publisher and editor 

2010 
Valentin Lavrentievich Yanin, historian

2009 
Viktor Petrovich Astafiev, author (posthumously)

2008 
Boris Petrovich Ekimov, writer

2007 
Sergei Georgievich Bocharov, literary critic
Andrei Anatolievich Zaliznyak, linguist

2006 
Alexei Nikolaevich Varlamov, prose writer

2005 
Igor Petrovich Zolotussky, literature critic

2004
Vladimir Vladimirovich Bortko, film director
Evgeny Vitalievich Mironov, actor

2003 
Yuri Mikhailovich Kublanovsky, poet
Olga Aleksandrovna Sedakova, poet

2002 
Leonid Ivanovich Borodin, prose writer
Aleksandr Sergeevich Panarin, philosopher

2001 
Konstantin Dmitrievich Vorobyov, writer (posthumously) 
Evgeni Ivanovich Nosov, writer

2000
Valentin Grigorievich Rasputin, prose writer

1999
Inna Lvovna Lisnyanskaya, poet

1998
Vladimir Nikolaevich Toporov, philologist

 

Jury

Nikita Struve
professor of literature, publisher

Valentin Nepomnyashchy
writer 

Liudmilla Saraskina
literature scholar

Pavel Basinsky
literary critic 

Natalia Solzhenitsyn
President of the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Russian Social Fund  

Boris Lyubimov
theater critic

Learn More About the Prize

Natalia Solzhenitsyn discusses the history and her late husband's goals for the prize in a 1997 interview with Aleksandr Shchuplov that was published in Knizhnoe Obozrenie, (“The Book Review”). 

Read the translated interview >