The EBRD Literature Prize 2023, 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 ten finalists. The Ukrainian nominee Volodymyr Rafeyenko with his book Mondegreen is among them.
The book by Rafeyenko was translated from Ukrainian to English by Mark Andryczyk (HURI Books). It will compete in the finals with nine others books, including The Books of Jacob by Polish author Olga Tocarczuk (2018 Nobel Prize in Literature) and Nights of Plague by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk (2018 Nobel Prize in Literature).
“My fellow judges and I are delighted with this year’s shortlist, which has taken us from 18th-century Poland and communist Bratislava to contemporary Beirut and Ukraine, via a dystopian fishing village at the end of the world. We became swept up in not one but two messianic cults, were led through the corridors of medical facilities masquerading as hotels (and time capsules), and disembarked on an imaginary eastern Mediterranean island in the dying days of the Ottoman Empire,” said Toby Lichtig, jury chairman. “The themes include illness and war, recovery and revolution, old age and new beginnings, the clash of history and friction of domestic dramas, the jolt of political awakening and personal reckoning. This is a list to startle, delight, bewilder, hearten, amuse and entertain.”
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 will be shared between the author and the translator. The two runner-up books will each receive a prize of €4,000, also equally split between author and translator.
The winners will be announced on 15 June 2023 at an award ceremony held at the EBRD’s headquarters in London.
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