Angelus CE Literary Award semi-finalists

A list of 14 writers from Central Europe makes up the semi-finalists of Poland’s Angelus Central European Literature Award. The prize selects books from the region that have been published in Polish the preceding year and has had its share of big name as well as fairly obscure winners over its six-year history including Petér Esterházy and last year’s winner The Unwomanly Face of the War by Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich.

This year’s list continues the mix with, on the one hand, Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s War & War, books by Dubravka Ugrešić, Georgi Gospodinov and some Polish writers that have had some work translated into English such as Magdalena Tulli, Michał Witkowski and Jacek Hugo-Bader. For more on the two Czech semi-finalists click here.

I have written about and tried to write about this award in the past but it is possibly the worst publicized award and website I have ever seen. It’s an international prize where, very often, an international writer comes to Wrocław to receive the award but it’s virtually impossible to find any information about it online, as if they’re trying to keep it secret.

Last year I complained that their most recent English info was the 2009 shortlist. Well, they’ve since updated it, now providing the 2010 shortlist! (Upon realizing that the shortlist didn’t contain the 2010 winner I figured they mixed up 2010 for 2011. Whoops).

The full list can be found in Polish and also includes some pretty caustic-looking comments (as far as my Polish comprehension goes) on Polish publishing.

The shortlist of seven writers will be released (if you can find it) next month and the winner will be announced in October.

And here’s an interview I did with 2010 Angelus winner Hungarian novelist György Spiró after he won the award.

Photos – 1) Angelus Novus by Paul Klee, 2) Svetlana Alexievich in Kabul, 1988, from the author’s archive

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Categories: Literary Prizes


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