2022 EBRD Literature Prize: Finalists Announced
























Three finalists include: The Orphanage, Boat Number Five and Katerina’s Book








  • Three novels in English translation by Auguste Corteau (Greece), Monika Kompanikova (Slovak Republic) and Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine) shortlisted for a prize of €20,000

  • Prize shared equally between writer and translator

  • Winner announced June 13, 2022

Three novels have been announced as finalists for the fifth EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 prize launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in collaboration with the British Council.

The EBRD Literature Prize recognizes the best literature translated in nearly 40 countries where the Bank invests, from Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and southern and eastern Mediterranean.

The €20,000 prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language of one of these countries, which has been translated into English and published by a UK or European publisher in the previous year.

The three finalists for the 2022 EBRD Literature Prize, in alphabetical order, by author, are:

Le Livre de Katerina by Auguste Corteau, translated by Claire Papamichail (Livres Parthes). Language: Greek. Country: Greece.

Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated by Janet Livingstone (Seagull Books). Language: Slovak. Country: Slovak Republic.

The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler (Yale University Press). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.

The EBRD Prize for Literature is distinguished by the fact that it not only covers various regions, but is also one of the few international literature prizes that rewards both the author and the translator: the winning book will receive the first prize of €20,000, which will be divided equally between the author and the translator. The second two titles will receive €8,000, distributed in the same way.

The winner of the 2022 EBRD Literature Prize will be announced on June 13.

Toby Lichtig, chairman of the jury, said: “The jury and I are delighted with this list of finalists. These three outstanding novels offer a wide range of themes and settings, from the tragedy of war to the heartbreak of parenthood to the confusions of childhood. One is set in war-torn Ukraine, another in post-Soviet Bratislava, the third through 20th-century Greece. All look at the world with fresh eyes, vividly communicating the complexity and intensity of the human experience. They are brightly told, brilliantly translated, utterly memorable and unique.


Read the judge’s opinions on the three pre-selected titles.

The independent judging panel for this year’s award chose the three finalists from 10 shortlisted titles, announced on March 23. The pre-selected titles, in alphabetical order of authors, were:

Doctor Bianco and Other Stories by Maciek Bielawski, translated by Scotia Gilroy (Terra Librorum Ltd). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.

Birds of Verhovina by Adam Bodor, translated by Peter Sherwood (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Hungarian. Country: Hungary.

Le Livre de Katerina by Auguste Corteau, translated by Claire Papamichail (Livres Parthes). Language: Greek. Country: Greece.

Red Crosses by Sasha Filipenko, translated by Brian James Baer and Ellen Vayner (Europa Editions UK). Russian language. Country: Belarus.

City of Torment by Daniela Hodrova, translated by Veronique Firkusny and Elena Sokol (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Czech. Country: Czech Republic.

Manaschi by Hamid Ismailov, translated by Donald Rayfield (Tilted Axis Press). Language: Uzbek. Country: Uzbekistan.

Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated by Janet Livingstone (Seagull Books). Language: Slovak. Country: Slovak Republic.

Karolina, or the Torn Curtain by Maryla Szymiczkowa (Jacek Dehnel/ Piotr Tarczynski), translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Oneworld Publications). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.

Just the Plague by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Polly Gannon (Granta). Russian language. Country: Russian Federation

The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Issac Stackhouse Wheeler (Yale University Press). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.

The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the EBRD Community Initiative, a program that provides a framework for staff and institutional engagement in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in regions where the Bank work.

Community Initiative Chairman Edward Bannerman said today: “The three finalists represent the diverse region in which the EBRD works. I am delighted that we can promote diverse cultures through the EBRD Literature Prize and get to know local writers who provide us with a crucial window into the cultural perspectives and authentic experiences of local communities. I look forward to the judges’ decision on the winner in June”


About the Judges


Toby Lichtig is Chairman of the Jury for the 2022 EBRD Literature Prize. Toby is the Fiction and Politics Editor of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). He is also a freelance editor and writer, and writes for a range of publications, including the the wall street journal and the Guardian. Toby has appeared as a guest critic on various TV and radio programmes, regularly interviews writers at the Hay Literary Festival and is also a freelance documentary producer. He was president of the jury for the JQ-Wingate Prize 2018 and member of the jury for the European Prize for Literature 2019. He was president of the jury for the 2021 edition of the EBRD Prize for Literature.

Twitter: @TobyLichtig


Alex Clark is a critic, journalist and host. Co-host of Graham Norton’s Book Club, she is also a regular on Radio 4 and writes on a wide range of topics for the Guardianthe Observer, the irish time and the TLS. She is one of the patrons of the Cambridge Literary Festival and has judged many literary prizes, including the Booker Prize. She is an experienced live events chair and lives in Kilkenny, Ireland.

Twitter: @AlexClark3


Boris Dralyuk is a literary translator, poet and editor of the Book review in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in the TLSthe New York Book Reviewthe New Yorker, London Book Review, the Guardn, and other journals. He is the author of Western Detective Fiction Heads East: The Russian Pinkerton Craze 1907-1934; translator of several volumes from Russian, including works by Isaac Babel, Andrey Kurkov, Maxim Osipov and Mikhail Zoshchenko; publisher of 1917: Stories and Poems of the Russian Revolution; and co-editor of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015). Boris was awarded first prize in the 2011 Compass Translation Award competition and, in 2020, won the inaugural Kukula Award for Excellence in Non-Fiction Book Review from The Washington Monthly. His collection My Hollywood and Other Poems will be published by Paul Dry Books in April 2022.


Dr. Catherine Murphy is a literary and academic critic who reviews Czech literature for TLSand is a regular contributor, both as a critic and essayist, at Apollo: The International Art Magazine. She is a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oriel College and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford. His diverse interests include literature, theology and philosophy in the seventeenth century; Central European literature; the literary essay; and painting of still lifes. Kathryn is co-editor of On essays: Montaigne in the present (Oxford, 2020) and curator of the Bodleian exhibition Melancholy: a new anatomy. His book Robert Burton: a vital melancholy will be published by Reaktion in 2022.











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