EBRD Literature Prize 2019 longlist unveiled

News - Prizes Thursday, 17 January 2019

Ten titles in the hunt with the winner of the €20,000 prize announced on 7 March

The EBRD Literature Prize 2019, launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development last year to promote translated literary fiction from its regions of operations, has announced its longlist.

The judges have chosen 10 novels, written in nine languages. A shortlist of three books (three authors and three translators) will be announced on 18 February. All six will be invited to attend the award ceremony at the EBRD's HQ at One Exchange Square, London, on 7 March, where the winner will be announced. The judges are: Rosie Goldsmith (chair), Gabriel Gbadamosi, Ted Hodgkinson and Samantha Schnee.

The longlisted titles, in alphabetical order by author, are:

Lala by Jacek Dehnel, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (One World) Language: Polish
Soviet Milk by Nora Ikstena, translated by Margita Gaelitis (Peirene Press) Language: Latvian
The Devil's Dance by Hamid Ismailov, transl. by Donald Rayfield (with John Farndon) (Tilted Axis Press) Language: Uzbek
My Name is Adam by Elias Khoury, transl. by Humphrey Davies (MacLehose Press) Language: Arabic
The Clash of Images by Abdelfattah Kilito, translated by Robyn Cresswell (Darf Publishers) Language: French (Moroccan)
The Peace Machine by Özgür Mumcu, transl. by Mark David Wyers (Pushkin Press) Language: Turkish
Drive your Plow by Olga Tokarczuk, transl. by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Fitzcarraldo Editions) Language: Polish
The Aviator by Eugene Vodolazkin, translated by Lisa C. Hayden (One World) Language: Russian
The Book of Whispers by Varujan Vosganian, translated by Alastair Ian Blyth (Yale University Press) Language: Romanian
Shatila Stories by 9 authors, translated by Nashwa Gowanlock (Peirene Press) Language: Arabic

Goldsmith said: "Our imagination and intellect have been stretched in all directions. As judges over the past few months of reading, we've travelled across cultures and centuries, visited refugee camps, ghettoes, rural villages and grand family homes. It's been an unparalleled experience. The gift of this prize is its genuinely broad geographical reach. So many countries, so much history, so many stories to tell. The increasing diversity and openness in UK publishing also means – we hope – that the Prize will help everyone become more open to translated fiction."

Colm Lincoln, EBRD deputy secretary general, said: "At the EBRD, we believe that the contemporary literature of our region of operations deserves to be much better known and recognised. Our Prize aims to bring the stories and voices of this world closer to the English-speaking world."

The first prize, awarded last year, was won by Burhan Sönmez and his translator Ümit Hussein for the novel Istanbul, Istanbul.

Pictured: EBRD HQ in London, venue for the prize-giving in March

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