Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov won the Booker International Prize for works translated into English this year for his novel Time Shelter. Earlier, when announcing the finalists, the jury in London pointed out that this was the first time ever that a work translated from Bulgarian reached the finals. 23 May 2023.
London – This year's Booker International Prize for works translated into English went to Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov for his novel Time Shelter. Earlier, when announcing the finalists, the jury in London pointed out that this was the first time ever that a work translated from Bulgarian reached the finals. Several of Gospodin's works have been translated into Czech in the past, but the award-winning novel is not among them yet.
Its plot takes place in a clinic where a psychiatrist tries to calm his patients suffering from dementia by creating places that remind them of the past. The hospital soon begins to attract people trying to escape from the real world.
French writer and jury president Leila Slimani described the book as “a great novel full of irony and melancholy”. “It's a very deep work that deals with a topical and philosophical question: What happens to us when our memories disappear?” she was quoted by the AP agency. “It is also a wonderful work about Europe, a continent that needs a future, where the past is reshaped and where nostalgia can become poison,” added Slimani.
Gospodinov is one of the most translated Bulgarian authors. The novel Time Shelter also won the Italian Strega prize. The last novel by Gospodinov in Czech was published in 2018 by Lidové noviny Publishing House.