The bookseller – News – Pezuashvili wins the European Union Prize for Literature

The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) has named Iva Pezuashvili from Georgia as this year’s big winner. FFive special mentions include Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin from Ireland and Eugenia Kuznetsova from Ukraine.

The prize recognizes emerging fiction writers from across the European Union and beyond and celebrates 41 “outstanding new literary talent” over a three-year cycle. The 2022 edition is the first time that a seven-member European jury has awarded an overall winner.

Pezuashvili won for ბუნკერი (A garbage chute) published by Intelekti. Mac Dhonnagáin received a special mention for Madame Lazarus (Baraz), Kuznetsova for Спитайте Мієчку (Ask Miyechka), published by the Old Lion publishing house.

Other special mentions were Gaea Schoeters for Trophy (Trophy), edited by Uitgeverij Querido for Belgium; Slađana Nina Perković for U Jarku (In the ditch), published by Imprimatur for Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Jacobo Bergareche for Los Dias Perfectos (perfect days), published by Libros del Asteroide, for Spain.

Fourteen countries participated in the EUPL 2022, including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania , Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine.

The 14 national nominees were revealed on February 28, one for each participating country. The authors and their novels were nominated by national entities, familiar with the literary scene of their country and accustomed to promoting their national literature abroad.

Ukraine has participated in the EUPL since 2019. The organizers of the awards said “before and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EUPL consortium worked with the Ukrainian Institute of Books to include a Ukrainian candidate in the 2022 edition of the prize”.

The EUPL is organized by a consortium of associations including the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Federation of Booksellers (EIBF), with the support of the European Commission.

They said: “Both organizations – EIBF and FEP – stand in solidarity with Ukraine and in particular with Ukrainian writers, translators, publishers, booksellers and librarians. Together with the book community around the world, the EUPL Consortium condemns the Russian attacks and calls for the restoration of peace in Ukraine.

Peter Kraus vom Cleff, President of the FEP, said: “Knowing and understanding our fellow citizens, feeling empathy for our neighbours, is the key to peace. This is the European project. This is also the objective of EUPL. I wish the best – in this case as many translations as possible – to the 14 nominees. The more these books circulate in Europe and beyond, the better it is for the cohesion of our society and our literary pleasure.

Jean-Luc Treutenaere, co-president of the EIBF, added: “The EUPL 2022 is a special edition. We have 14 outstanding nominees featured and, for the first time, we are awarding five special mentions and one overall winner, all decided by a European jury. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, the special mentions and the EUPL 2022 winner for their great novels and their contribution to the contemporary European literary world. I look forward to meeting our nominees and seeing their novels exhibited in bookstores across Europe.

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