EBRD Literature Prize 2021: Finalists announced
- Three novels in English translation by Nana Ekvtimishvili (Georgia), Szczepan Twardoch (Poland) and Matei Vişniec (Romania) shortlisted for €20,000 prize
- Winner announced on 1 June 2021
Three novels have been announced as the finalists of the fourth EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in collaboration with the British Council.
The EBRD Literature Prize celebrates the very best in translated literature from the almost 40 countries where the Bank invests, from Central and eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.
The €20,000 Prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language from one of these countries, which has been translated into English and published by a UK or a Europe-based publisher.
The three finalists for this year’s Prize, in alphabetical order, by author, are:
- The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press). Language: Georgian. Country: Georgia.
- The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch, translated by Sean Gasper Bye (Amazon Crossing). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.
- Mr K Released by Matei Vişniec, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Seagull Books). Language: Romanian. Country: Romania.
The EBRD Literature Prize is one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator in equal measure: the winning title will receive the top prize of €20,000, which will be split evenly between the author and the translator, and the two runner-up titles will receive €8,000, similarly divided.
The winner of the EBRD Literature Prize 2021 will be announced on 1 June.
Toby Lichtig, Chair of Judges, said, “I and my fellow judges are delighted with this list of finalists, which attests to the boundless ingenuity of the human literary imagination. A kafkaesque fable about Romania’s transition from Communism to democracy; a hard-hitting evocation of 1930s Warsaw, complete with Jewish gangsters, street slang and hopes for a better future; a beautiful, brutal and life-affirming tale about the bonds of child friendship, and scars of adult neglect, in a Tbilisi “school for the intellectually disabled” – each of these novels is, in its own way, compelling, shocking, enchanting, memorable, brilliantly rendered and entirely original.”
The independent panel of judges for this year’s Prize chose the three finalists from 10 longlisted titles, announced on 11 March. The longlisted titles, in alphabetical order by author, were:
Love in the Days of Rebellion by Ahmet Altan, translated by Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi (Europa Editions). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.
The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press. Language: Georgian. Country: Georgia.
Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov, translated by Boris Dralyuk (MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus). Language: Russian. Country: Ukraine
Carbide by Andriy Lyubka, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stockhouse Wheeler (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine
Hana by Alena Mornštajnová, translated by Julia and Peter Sherwood (Parthian Books). Language: Czech. Country: Czech Republic.
No-Signal Area by Robert Perišić, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac (Seven Stories Press). Language: Croatian. Country: Croatia.
The Highly Unreliable Account of the History of a Madhouse by Ayfer Tunç translated by Feyza Howell (Istros Books). Language: Turkish. Country: Turkey.
The King of Warsaw by Szczepan Twardoch, translated by Sean Gasper Bye (Amazon Crossing). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.
Mr K Released by Matei Vişniec, translated by Jozefina Komporaly (Seagull Books). Language: Romanian. Country: Romania.
Your Ad Could Go Here by Oksana Zabuzhko, translated by Nina Murray, Marta Horban, Marco Carynnyk, Halyna Hryn, and Askold Melnyczuk
(Amazon Crossing). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.
The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the Bank’s Community Initiative, a programme which provides a framework for the engagement of staff and the institution in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in the regions where the Bank works.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"