Writers from 12 European countries, and among them Darko Tuševljaković from Serbia, won the European Union Prize for Literature for 2017.
European Union Prize for Literature, awarded every year to writers from 12 different countries, was also awarded, based on the decision made by national jury panels, to Rudi Erebara from Albania, Ina Vultchanova from Bulgaria, Bianca Bellová from the Czech Republic, Kallia Papadaki from Greece, Halldóra K. Thoroddsen from Iceland, Osvalds Zebris from Latvia, Walid Nabhan from Malta, Jamal Ouariachi from the Netherlands, Sine Ergun from Turkey and Sunjeev Sahota from the United Kingdom.
As it was said in the statement, through the awarding of this Prize, exquisite new literary talents are being recognised throughout Europe, and also the wealth of contemporary European literature is emphasised and attention is directed towards the unique cultural and linguistic heritage of the entire continent.
Serbian writer Darko Tuševljaković was awarded for his novel “Jaz” about the 90s, published by the publishing house Arhipelag, who said that it was great honour to receive such an important prize and be among the chosen authors from other European countries, and also among the previous winners of the award from Serbia (Jelena Lengold and Uglješa Šajtinac).
Tuševljaković’s “Jaz” is a novel about Serbia during the 90s and the beginning of a new century, but also about a young generation stretched between leaving and staying in their own country, but also about the older ones, overwhelmed by nostalgia and the struggle against time which was surpassing them. Displaying the life of young people in turbulent times and combining the elements of a social novel and phantasmagoria, Tuševljaković in “Jaz” shapes the stage where, in the middle of political and historical breakdowns, impressionable characters with their human and intimate dramas are being displayed. “Jaz” is, as described by Arhipelag, an exciting story about how to survive history and preserve the right to one’s own specificity. The novel takes the reader to an extraordinary adventure from Belgrade to Kragujevac during the 90s, to the image of a family vacation in Greece, while in the parallel and intersecting stories personal and family dramas are being resolved, but also other historical forces and struggles with the self and the others.
Laureates receive a prize amounting to 5,000 Euros, but also numerous other benefits stemming from international visibility and cross-border promotion of their works, starting with the ceremony of prize awarding in Brussels all the way to presentations on the largest book fairs.
European Union Prize for Literature for 2017 will be awarded to laureates in a ceremony on 23rd May in Brussels, and it will be given by the European Commissioner for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Tibor Navračić together with the highest representatives of the European Parliament.
The awarding ceremony is organised by the consortium of European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), European Writers’ Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), with the support of the European Commission, i.e. the Creative Europe programme. Therefore, it is available to writers from all countries members of Creative Europe.
During the first three years (2014-2016), Creative Europe programme aided the funding of translation of around 1,400 books to more than 30 European languages, including the works of the previous 58 winners of the European Union Prize for Literature. Some of them were translated for the first time.