Seven books have qualified for the finals of the eighth edition of the Angelus Central European Literature Award. Apart from Polish novels, books by Austrian, Russian ad Ukrainian authors will compete for the award. The winner will be announced on the 19th of October.
The finalists have been selected out of 41 books which qualified for the competition in March. Polish prose will be represented by Kazimierz Orłoś’s Dom pod Lutnią [The Lute House], Jerzy Pilch’s Dziennik [Journal], Andrzej Stasiuk’s Grochów and Szczepan Twardoch’s Morfina [Morphine]. Apart from the above books, the finalists include Im Wald der Metropolen [In the Thicket of Metropolis] from Austrian writer Karl-Markus Gauß, Время ночь [The Time Night] by Russian prose writer Lyudmila Petruszevskaya, and Музей покинутих секретів [The Museum of Abandoned Secrets] by Ukrainian writer, poet and essayist, Oksana Zabuzhko.
“We were arguing, yet in a very gentleman-like manner, because the award is a literary one. The discussion is going on and we still do not know ourselves who is going to win. The titles in the final list are very strong competitors and valuable from a literary point of view. It is a collection of books on various topics, different in form, from a quasi-documentary, through short stories, to an irreverent novel. Their Central European origin is all they have in common,” a jury member, professor Andrzej Zawada, said during the press conference on Friday.
The winner will be announced on the 19th of October during an official gala which will be held in the Capitol Music Theatre. “The event will be preceded with a mini-festival of literature with the participation of, I hope, most of the authors, the winner of the first edition, Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovych, and Hungarian writer György Spiró, who received the Angelus in 2010,” added Jarosław Broda, the director of City of Wrocław’s department of culture.
Angelus is an award for writers form Central Europe who deal in their works with issues most important in contemporary times. The prize, that is an Angelus statuette designed by Ewa Rossano and a cheque for PLN 150,000, is awarded for the best book published in Polish in the preceding year.
Since the fourth edition, a translator is also awarded a prize of PLN 20,000 founded by the Angelus Silesius State School of Higher Vocational Education in Wałbrzych.
The competition is open for living authors from 21 Central-European countries. Publishers and jury members may pick particular works. The City of Wrocław is the organising body and the sponsor of the contest.
So far, the Angelus has been awarded to: Yuri Andrukhovych for Дванадцять обручів [Twelve Rings] (2006), Martin Pollack for Der Tote im Bunker. Bericht über meinen Vater [The Dead Man in the Bunker: Discovering My Father] (2007), Péter Esterházy for Harmonia calestis (2008), Josef Škvorecký for Příběh inženýra lidských duší [The Engineer of Human Souls] (2009), György Spiró for Messiások [Messiahs] (2010), Svetlana Alexievich for У войны не женское лицо [The Unwomanly Face of war] (2011), Miljenko Jergović for Srda pjeva, u sumrak, na Duhove [Srda Sings, in the Twilight, at Pentecost] (2012).