The EBRD Literature Prize 2021, launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to promote translated literary fiction from its regions of operations (nearly 40 countries), has announced its longlist. The list of ten nominees includes three books from Ukraine and one from Georgia.
The €20,000 prize will be awarded to the best novel originally written in a language from one of the countries where the Bank invests. It is one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator in equal measure.
“The ten books move us from 1930s Warsaw to 1950s Czechoslovakia to contemporary Ukrainian no man’s land; from a Kafkaesque tale of judicial injustice to an absurdist tragicomedy of human smuggling; from the dying days of the Ottoman Empire to an alternative Balkans hauling itself into the present day,” said Toby Lichtig, Chair of the Judges. “Taken together, they give a picture of a Eurasian region riven with the scars of war and displacement, cruelty and carelessness, and teeming with human resilience and ingenuity. And love. Each book is unique, each translation brilliantly realised.”
Ukraine is represented by ‘Grey Bees’ by Andrey Kurkov, translated from Russian, ‘Carbide’ by Andriy Lyubka, and ‘Your Ad Could Go Here’ by Oksana Zabuzhko, translated from Ukrainian. The Georgian nominee is the book by Nana Ekvtimishvili, ‘The Pear Field’.
The finalists (three authors and their translators) of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 will be announced on 3 May 2021. All of them will be invited to attend the award ceremony later that month, where the winner will be announced.
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