Novels in English translation by Boris Akunin (Russia), Daša Drndić (Croatia) and Burhan Sönmez (Turkey) up for €20,000 prize – winner announced 10 April 2018
Three novels have been announced as the finalists of the first EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in partnership with the British Council and the London Book Fair.
The three finalists are:
The EBRD is a multilateral development bank, created after the fall of the Berlin wall to help emerging economies move towards open markets. The Bank launched the prize in recognition of the vibrancy of its region’s literature, which is still little known in the English-speaking world.
The prize will be awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language from one of the 37 economies where the Bank invests, translated into English and published by a UK publisher. The winner will receive the top prize of €20,000, split evenly between the author and the translator, and the two runner-up titles will receive €2,000, similarly divided.
Rosie Goldsmith, the chair of the judging panel, said: “These three novels form a perfect trio of great craft, insight and originality. Belladonna is an unflinching but brilliant and beautiful novel of ideas. Istanbul Istanbul provides a witty, wonderful and wise window on the world and on our flawed humanity but without leaving the prison cell. And All The World’s A Stage is a thrillingly entertaining, informative and literary romp through Russian history. As judges we were unanimous. These are astonishingly good reads.”
All the World’s a Stage is part of Boris Akunin’s popular historical mystery series featuring detective Erast Fandorin, set in the theatrical world of imperial Russia.
Belladonna is a work which references the darkest hours of the last century: the Holocaust in Croatia, the breakdown of Yugoslavia and resurgence of ethnic hatred through the eyes and memories of a dying man, academic Andreas Ban.
Istanbul Istanbul is set in Turkey’s largest city after a military coup; four prisoners tell ten stories filled with love and humour, reminiscent of Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, while awaiting their fate.
The winner will be announced in London at an award ceremony at the EBRD’s headquarters at One Exchange Square, London, on 10 April 2018.
A special event will also be held at London Book Fair (LBF) at 11:30 on 11 April 2018 with the title ‘Whose Prize is it Anyway?’ featuring the prize winners and judges. This year, LBF is showcasing books from the Baltic states, one of the EBRD regions of operations.
The judges chose the three finalists from the six shortlisted titles, announced on 5 February. They were:
SEE ALL INFORMATION/ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE EBRD LITERATURE PRIZE
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