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Russian Federation State Prize for Children and Teenager Literature (2002)
Grigory Oster was born 1947. He is an ex-Navy man and a father of five children. He is well known in Russia for more than twenty years for his short stories, fairy tales, children’s plays, and scripts for popular children animated films.
Oster succeeded in finding his own unique style to communicate with kids. In his books he never talks to them as an adult looking down to “little people”. He treats his little readers as equals; he credits their intellect and instincts, their sense of humor and their natural ability to distinguish between good and bad. And what is most important, he does it without any moral teaching whatsoever, in a game form.
Oster is an expert in inventing “new genres”. He doesn’t limit himself to plain narrative, but creates new forms and structures of literary text. Reducing each and every paradox to absurdity, turning each and every word upside down with double meaning, Oster interprets them all through the most habitual formulas. Results of his smart and funny wordplay are always antinomian and against common sense. The effect of nonsense in Oster's books is caused by an excess of meaning, rather than the lack of it. Oster's nonsense has a kind of humor derived from a different source than a plain joke: his nonsense is funny because it does not make sense, as opposed to most humor which is funny because it does.
Oster's masterpieces are extremely logical and understandable; his texts are easily applied to a multitude of most habitual life situations. As Oster himself claims, his books represent a preventive vaccination against boredom.