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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Author Wins Booker

Little-known Moscow author Alexander Morozov won this year's Russian Booker Prize for a novel written 30 years ago and published only last year.

Morozov, 54, was awarded the $12,000 prize Thursday for "Someone Else's Letters," which chronicles the personal correspondence between a Soviet-era couple in the 1960s.

"For me this novel was a pleasant and stunning surprise," said Andrei Zorin, who headed the jury that had to choose among the 60 authors entered in this year's competition.

Zorin, like many other critics who attended the awards ceremony, compared Morozov's novel to Fyodor Dostoevsky's early novella "Poor People."

"Someone Else's Letters" was first published last year in the magazine Znamya.

The Small Booker Prize was shared this year by two authors for their memoir-style novels. Emma Gershtein, once a close friend of poet Osip Mandelshtam, and young Russian ?migr? writer Mikhail Bezrodny each received $2,000.

The Russian Booker Prize was established in 1992 by Booker, a British food and agriculture company that has given an award for literature by writers from the British Commonwealth since 1969.