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Drago Jančar up for prestigious russian literary prize

Slovenian contemporary literary classic Drago Jančar, who is also well known to international readers, is among Julian Barnes and Jonathan Franzen one of the nominees for prestigious russian Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award, which recognizes the most significant foreign book of the year written in the 21st century, and its Russian translation.

Foto: Jože Suhadolnik/Delo

On March 16, 2017 the jury of the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award announced the long list in the Foreign Fiction category for 2017. The long list includes 28 works by authors from Great Britain, Israel, India, Italy, Slovenia, the USA, Sweden, France, Peru, and South Africa. The list can be found here.

The annual Yasnaya Polyana Book Award was established by the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and Samsung Electronics company in 2003 and the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award was introduced in 2015. The long list in this category is selected by experts: literary critics, translators, and publishers, among them Vladimir Tolstoy, chairman of the jury, and advisor to the RF President on culture and art, Pavel Basinsky, a writer and literary critic, and Aleksei Varlamov, a prose writer. The prize fund consist of two parts: the winner receives nearly 20,000 euros and the translator is awarded nearly 8,000 euros.

The name of the winner of the Foreign Fiction Award will be announced in October of 2017 during the Yasnaya Polyana Book Awards ceremony.

Drago Jančar, a Slovenian writer, playwright and essayist, is the most translated contemporary Slovenian writer. His novels, essays and short stories have been translated into 21 languages and published in Europe, Asia and the United States. The nominated novel, published also in English under the title I Saw Her That Night (Dalkey Archive Press, 2016) is a love story in time of war, a novel about a few years in the life and mysterious disappearance of Veronika Zarnik, a young bourgeois woman from Ljubljana, sucked into the whirlwind of a turbulent period in history. The novel was also translated into Russian, German, French, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Croatian and Serbian. The novel was also recognized in France and in 2014 awarded with Prix du Meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Prize, category Novel).

Jančar has received a number of Slovenian and international literary awards, including the Prešeren Award, Slovenia's most prestigious arts award in 1993 for his narratives, plays and essays; the European Short Story Award (Augsburg, 1994); the Herder Prize for literature in 2003; the European Prize for Literature in 2011.