Bianca Bellová receives 2017 EU Prize for Literature

Bellová’s novel The Lake (Jezero) was published in 2016 to widespread critical acclaim.


Bianca Bellová. Photograph © Marta Režová.

Bianca Bellová. Photograph © Marta Režová.

The Czech national jury led by the director of the Moravian Library, Tomáš Kubíček, awarded the 2017 EU Prize for Literature (EUPL) to Bianca Bellová for The Lake. Set near a lake that is drying up and ominously pushing out its banks, this novel is an archetypal story of the coming of age of a young hero who fights his way out of a tough environment as he searches for his roots in the contaminated soil of his devastated lakeland home. The Lake also won the 2017 Magnesia Litera Book of the Year Award and translations will be published in Italy, Poland, Egypt, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Two other Czech authors were nominated for the prize: Vratislav Maňák for Rubik’s Cube (Rubikova kostka, Host 2016) and Marek Šindelka for Material Fatigue (Únava materiálu, Odeon 2016).

The Creative Europe programme, which organises the prize, also offers grants for translations of European literature. Between 2014 and 2016, the programme has supported the translation of about 1,400 books, from and into more than 30 European languages, including the works of 58 previous EUPL winners

More information, including an English excerpt from the novel translated by Alex Zucker, can be found on EUPL website. The award ceremony will take place on 23 May at Concert Noble, in Brussels.