The writer Bianka Bellová spoke on February 18, 2021 in Prague at the press conference of the Kosmas bookstore for Big Book Thursday.
London – The English translation of the novel Jezero by the Czech writer Bianka Bellová won a literary prize announced by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) today. The work from 2016 tells a dystopian story about a boy searching for his mother against the backdrop of a vague post-Soviet landscape destroyed by ruthless industrial plunder. Other finalists were the books of Polish Olga Tokarczuková and Lebanese writer Nadžva Barakátová.
Newly published English translations of books from the countries where the bank operates can apply for the EBRD prizes, which have been awarded since 2017. Jezero was published last year in a translation by Alex Zucker, who also becomes the recipient of the award, which comes with a financial reward of 20,000 euros (475,000 crowns).
“The winner of the EBRD literary prize in 2023 is Jezero by Bianka Bellová, translated by Alex Zucker. Congratulations to our winners! A truly excellent book!” the EBRD said on its Twitter account. The 53-year-old Czech writer's novel thus received another award after Jezero became the book of the year in the Magnesia Litera Awards in 2017 and also won the European Union Prize for Literature. The EBRD received the Book of Jacob with its comprehensive historical novel. The Lebanese Barakátová applied for the prize with the novel Mister N, which tells about the violence, injustice and chaos of contemporary Beirut through the eyes of a failed writer.