The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) has named Iva Pezuashvili, from Georgia, as this year’s overall winner. Five special mentions include Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin of Ireland and Eugenia Kuznetsova from Ukraine.
The award recognises emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond and celebrates 41 “outstanding new literary talents” across a cycle of three years. The 2022 edition is the first time a seven-member European jury has awarded one overall winner.
Pezuashvili won for ბუნკერი (A Garbage Chute) published by Intelekti. Mac Dhonnagáin received a special mention for Madame Lazare (Baraz), Kuznetsova for Спитайте Мієчку (Ask Miyechka), published by Old Lion Publishing House.
The other special mentions were Gaea Schoeters for Trofee (Trophy), published 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 Días Perfectos (Perfect Days), published by Libros del Asteroide, for Spain.
Fourteen countries participated in 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 28th February, one for each participating country. The authors and their novels were nominated by national entities, knowledgeable about the literary scene in their countries and used to promote their national literature abroad.
Ukraine has participated in the EUPL since 2019. Organisers of the awards said “prior to and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EUPL consortium has worked with the Ukrainian Book Institute to include a Ukrainian nominee in the 2022 edition of the prize”.
The EUPL is organised by a consortium of associations comprising the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), with the support of the European Commission.
They said: “Both organisations—EIBF and FEP—stand in solidarity with Ukraine and in particular with Ukrainian writers, translators, publishers, booksellers and librarians. Together with the book community across the world, the EUPL consortium condemns the Russian attacks and calls for the restoration of peace in Ukraine.”