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Czech writer Bellová receives EU literature prize

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Brussels, April 21 (CTK) – Czech writer with Bulgarian roots, Bianca Bellova, 47, has received this year’s European Union Prize for Literature for her novel Jezero (The Lake), the press section of the European Commission (EC) Representation in the Czech Republic announced Friday.

The prize, which carries 5000 euros, has been annually bestowed on talented European writers from the EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the EU candidate countries since 2009. It should help them have their books published abroad and address a broader pubic.

The jury usually selects writers from 12 countries as the EU award laureates.

Bellova’s novel The Lake won also the Czech Magnesia Litera main award for the book of the year recently.

Her novel is a post-apocalyptic parable of environmental destruction followed by the destruction of human relations and individual souls. It is a story of a boy, Nami, trying to find his mother in an exotic environment similar to the Aral Sea.

The winners of the EU literature prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Brussels on May 23.

According to the EC, the prize should contribute to a better understanding among nations. More than 60 of the winning books have been translated into three to four languages on average.

Out of Czech authors, Jan Nemec received the EU prize for literature for his novel Dejiny svetla (The History of Light) about avant-garde photographer Frantisek Drtikol in 2014 and Tomas Zmeskal for his debut novel Milostny dopis klinovym pismem (Love Letter in Cuneiform Script) in 2011.

Bellova works as a translator and interpreter from English. Her literary debut was Sentimentalni roman (Sentimental Novel, 2009), followed by long-short stories Mrtvy muz (Dead Man, 2011) and Cely den se nic nestane (Nothing Happens the Whole Day Long, 2013) and a number of short stories.


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