Who are the best emerging fiction writers for 2021? We are proud to present the Czech shortlist for the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL). The final winner will be announced on 18 May.
Daniel Hradecký: Three Chapters (Tři kapitoly), Listen
The trinity of linguistically honed shorter proses is filled with testimony about the struggle of an individual with existence on the margins, not only of social exclusion but also of the ontological abyss.
Lucie Faulerová: Deathmaiden (Smrtholka), Torst
The way forward cannot be managed without looking back and the hardest fight needs to be fought in your own head. Inconsistently rhythmic prose refined into extraordinary stylistic purity, a young girl, affected by family tragedy and her own conscience, introduces us to the environment of three siblings who were inexplicably abandoned by her mother and illness; however, the closed family cell, thanks to the father and the sibling bond, offers a starting point for those who are willing to accept the reality.
Matěj Hořava: Stopover (Mezipřistání), Host
The novel is embedded in the reality of the Tbilisi panel housing estate. New strangers, new wanderings, new encounters; new, incomprehensible speech. And more and more fatigue from the gray and chaos of the big city, which the narrator tries to drown out with occasional escapes to the Black Sea, the Caucasus, Moravia, Bohemia, and childhood.
Miřenka Čechová: Ballerinas (Baletky), Paseka
Ballerinas have two faces. The front, smiling and the perfect one that the audience sees. And then the other one, when they disappear behind the curtain, their prescribed smile falls and their face twists into a torn grin as it suffocates. They can’t breathe through their mouths while dancing. They crack their eyes and gasp for breath.
Anna Bolavá: Before The Flood (Před povodní), Odeon
The river lives its own life, after a long drought, the water level rises unexpectedly and returns to the inhabitants what they threw into it recklessly during the winter.
The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognises emerging fiction writers from across Europe. The award includes 41 countries that are part of the Creative Europe programme – an initiative aiming to strengthen Europe’s cultural and creative sectors. The EUPL was launched in 2009, and since then recognised 135 winning authors through 12 editions. Each year, the EUPL awards one winner per country from a third of participating countries. This year’s edition will award winners from 14 countries: Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Tunisia.