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 regions in which the Bank currently invests and published for the first time by a European (including UK) or North American publisher in the period in question.
The Prize champions the literary richness of our diverse regions of operation across three continents. It also celebrates the role of translators as “bridges” between cultures. It helps disseminate a wide range of different voices to the English-reading public and a global audience.
It has already introduced a broad range of literature from countries such as Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Türkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The EBRD Literature Prize is part of the Bank’s Community Initiative, which engages the institution and its staff in philanthropic, social and cultural activities. It was first awarded in 2018, with funding provided by the Bank’s shareholders.
Books are submitted in the autumn. An independent panel of judges selects a shortlist of the 10 best nominated works of translated fiction. They later hone this selection to three finalists before choosing a winner in the spring.
Prize money of €20,000 is divided equally between the winning author and translator. Two runners-up and their translators also receive €4,000 each.
The Lake The Lake by Bianca Bellová, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker and originally published in the Czech Republic won the EBRD Literature Prize in 2023. Published by Parthian Books, it is a coming-of-age story described by the chair of judges as “a bewitching, beguiling, terrifying and shocking portal into a world gone wrong, a realm in which tenderness and courage come up against brutality and indifference, in which fellow-feeling and communality are undercut by self-interest and folly – and in which small gestures nonetheless keep the flame of hope alive. It is utterly propulsive, immersive and unique, and deserves to become a European classic, to be read by many generations to come.”
Mister N by Najwa Barakat, translated from the Arabic by Luke Leafgren and published by And Other Stories. Country: Lebanon
The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft and published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Country: Poland
Other 2023 shortlisted works in alphabetical order by author:
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