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The Equestrienne

  • Author: Uršuľa Kovalyk

  • Translator: Julia Sherwood and Peter Sherwood

  • UK publisher: Parthian Books

  • Original language: Slovak

Gabriel Gbadamosi, EBRD Literature Prize judge: “Uršul'a Kovalyk's novel is a rainbow of images and insights that guides a young girl to a world after communism. The rainbow is broken; it broke my heart. Julia and Peter Sherwood's flawless translation gives pace and fluidity to a read spiked with moments of astonishing audacity.

The writer

Uršuľa Kovalyk is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and social worker. She was born in 1969 in Košice, eastern Slovakia, and currently lives in the capital, Bratislava. She has worked for a women's non-profit focusing on women's rights and currently works for the NGO Against the Current, which helps homeless people. She is the director of the Theatre With No Home, which features homeless and disabled actors. She has published plays, short stories and novels, and was shortlisted for the Anasoft Litera 2014, an award for best Slovak fiction, for Krasojazdkyña (The Equestrienne).

The translators

Julia Sherwood was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now the Slovak Republic). After studying English and Slavonic languages and literature in Cologne, London and Munich she has settled in the UK. Since 2008 she has been working as a freelance translator from Slovak, Czech, Polish, Russian and German into English (with Peter Sherwood), as well as into Slovak. She is editor-at-large for Slovakia for Asymptote, the international online literary journal. She has also spent more than 20 years working in the NGO sector. 

Peter Sherwood studied Hungarian and linguistics in the University of London before being appointed, in 1972, to a lectureship in Hungarian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (now part of University College London). From 2008 until his retirement in 2014 he was László Birinyi, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Hungarian Language and Culture in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has received a number of awards for contribution to Hungarian studies. He lives in London.

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