Eastern European Literature Award Presented for the First Time

On Monday, June 26, 2006, an international jury convened to decide the first winners of the Eastern European Literature Award. The panel of renowned literary personalities was chaired by Jiři Gruša, President of the international PEN Club and Director of the Diplomatic Academy Vienna.

In the run-up, national juries sifted through and evaluated some 500 literary works published in 2005 as well as individual titles from previous years. From this selection, the international jury got a list of 20 publications nominated for the prize.

The winner of the first Prize of the Eastern European Literature Award is Bulgarian Theodora Dimova and her novel “Maikite“ (The Mothers)

Coming in second were (ex aequo) Romanian author Florin Lazarescu with his story “Trimisul nostru special “ (Our Special Correspondent) and Czech Anna Zonová with her novel „Za trest a za odménu“ (As a Punishment and Reward).

The three authors will be presented to a wider audience at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. In the spring of 2007, the award-winning texts will be available in a bilingual anthology published by EditionZwei. Furthermore, winner Theodora Dimova will receive 7,500 euros.

Ranked fourth to tenth, respectively, were Boris Dežulovic, Croatia, Mirza Fehimović, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tamás Jónás, Hungary, Márius Kopcsay, Slovakia, Srdan Valjarevic, Serbia, Maja Vidmar, Slovenia, and Mariusz Wilk, Poland. 
They will all be granted a one-month scholarship visit under the „Writers in Residence“ program sponsored by KulturKontakt Austria in Vienna.

The road to a common, larger Europe is not only marked by a political and economic process but, above all, by a cultural dialog.
With its total prize money of EUR 100,000, this unique European literature award is the first initiative of its kind to comprise 10 countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It is designed to strongly support and encourage Eastern Europe literature and, at the same time, to provide a comprehensive survey of current literary activities in this region.

The Eastern European Literature Award is distributed on a bi-annual basis by Bank Austria Creditanstalt, KulturKontakt Austria, and Wieser Publishing House.

Further inquiry: Bank Austria Creditanstalt, Group Public Relations
Katja Erlach, Tel. +43 (0) 5 05 05 ext. 56839
E-Mail: katja.erlach@ba-ca.com