An independent group of judges selected the shortlist of the 10 best works of translated fiction put forward for the EBRD Literature Prize 2023.
The judges are: Toby Lichtig (Chair), Maya Jaggi, Arkady Ostrovsky and Natasha Randall.
The shortlisted works, in alphabetical order by author, are:
Mister N by Najwa Barakat, translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren (And Other Stories). Country: Lebanon
The Lake by Bianca Bellová, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker (Parthian Books). Country: Czech Republic
Mothers and Truckers by Ivana Dobrakovova, translated from the Slovak by Julia and Peter Sherwood (Jantar Publishing). Country: Slovak Republic
Invisible Woman and Other Stories by Slavenka Drakulić, translated from the Croatian by Christina Pribichevich Zorić with Jacob Agee (Fraktura). Country: Croatia
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel. Country: Bulgaria
According to Her by Maciej Hen, translated from the Polish by Anna Blasiak (Holland House Books). Country: Poland
Body Kintsugi by Senka Marić, translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth (Peirene). Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nights of Plague by Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap (Faber). Country: Türkiye
Mondegreen by Volodymyr Rafeyenko, translated from the Ukrainian by Mark Andryczyk (HURI Books). Country: Ukraine
The Books of Jacob by Olga Tocarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Country: Poland
The EBRD Literature Prize champions the literary richness of our diverse regions of operations, where the Bank currently invests. The Prize also aims to illustrate the importance of literary translation and to introduce the depth and variety of the voices and creativity from these regions to the English-speaking public and a wider global audience.
The international prize was created in 2017 by the EBRD with funding provided by the members of the EBRD, in cooperation with the British Council.
The €20,000 prize is split between the author and translator. The two runner-up books will each receive a prize of €4,000, also equally split between author and translator.
The Prize has already introduced English-language readers to a wide range of literature from countries, such as Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Türkiye , Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler is the winner of the EBRD Literature Prize 2022. Published by Yale University Press, and set in contemporary eastern Ukraine, the book is a raw, compelling story of a civilian’s desperate journey through conflict zones to reach home. Toby Lichtig, Chair of the judging panel said:” The Orphanage was timely when it first appeared in Ukrainian in 2017, it was timely when it first appeared in Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler’s excellent translation last year, and it is even more grimly timely now.”
About the EBRD Literature Prize
The EBRD Literature Prize is awarded to the year’s best work of literary fiction translated into English, originally written in any language of the EBRD’s regions where it currently invests, and published for the first time by a European (including UK) publisher in the period captured by the Prize.
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 Prize is worth €20,000 and is equally divided between the winning author and translator. So, it not only rewards the writer who brings stories from these countries to life, but just as importantly, acknowledges the vital role that the translator plays in making these stories accessible to English-speaking audiences. The two runners-up and their translators receive a prize of €4,000 each.