EU Prize for Literature 2014

The winners of the European Union Prize for Literature were announced today at the Frankfurt Book Fair meant to recognize “the best new and emerging authors in Europe.” Of the writers from Central and Eastern (really, Southern) Europe it’s a mix between those I’ve heard of and haven’t and those who’ve had something translated into English and those who haven’t.

The Bulgarian winner, Milen Ruskov, who won for his novel Възвишение (Summit) has a novel published in English translation by Angela Rodel: Thrown into Nature (Open Letter Books, 2011), after it won the Contemporary Bulgarian Novel Contest in 2010, co-run by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation and Open Letter Books. You can read an excerpt from the novel, translated as “Height” by Christopher Buxton, in The Missing Slate. as well as one on the Contemporary Bulgarian Writers’ website.



Montenegrin winner Ognjen Spahić won for a book of stories, Puna glava radosti (Head Full of Joy). Spahić’s novel, Hansen’s Children (Istros Books, 2011) was translated by Will Firth. Spahić also has a short story in B O D Y’s Saturday European Fiction entitled “All of That” translated by S.D. Curtis as well as a Story in Dalkey’s Best European Fiction in 2011.



I have to confess I’ve never heard of the Czech winner, Jan Němec, who received the prize for his debut novel Dějiny světla (A History of Light), a biographical novel about the Czech photographer František Drtikol. You can read an excerpt in English translated by Melvyn Clarke at the Czech Literature Portal here and some glowing reviews from Czech writers and journalists here.

You can see the full list of winners here

You can read more detailed accounts of all the winning books and see author photos (including one of Serbian author Uglješa Šajtinac seemingly balancing Tower Bridge on his head!) on the EU Prize’s Facebook page

Photo – Milen Ruskov

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Categories: Literary Prizes


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2 Comments on “EU Prize for Literature 2014”

  1. Melvyn Clarke
    08/10/2014 at 7:32 pm #

    There is a longer translation excerpt from Němec’s Dějiny světla here:–a-history-of-light-/%A0dejiny-svetla

  2. 08/10/2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Thanks Melvyn, will add it asap.

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