Fri, May 24 2013
"Bulgarian literature published in 2007 looked just like the Bulgarian reality - paranoid and filled with suspicion," Valeri Stefanov, a member of the jury tasked to select the best Bulgarian novel of 2007 for the VICK prize, told a news conference on June 23 at the Military club in Sofia.
Out of 68 novels submitted, the five-member jury has narrowed the selection down to 20. Then, after careful consideration, there were only six most-deserving titles proposed to enter the competition for the prestigious award. Along with a monetary award, the winner will have the chance to see her or his work translated into English.
The jury this year includes Boryana Hristova, head of the SS Cyril and Methodius National Library; Georgi Lozanov, a media expert; Valeri Stefanov, Dean of the Sofia University Slavic Studies faculty; Andrei Slabakov, film director and actor; as well as European commissioner Meglena Kouneva.
Most of the authors, which novels have found place in the 'magnificent six' are known to the Bulgarian readers, or have been awarded in the past.
And the nominees are: Alek Popov and his book The Black Box (Черната кутия); Alexander Sekulov and the title A love-sentences collector (Колекционер на любовни изречения); Evgenia Ivanova and her Photo Stoyanovich (Фото Стоянович); Elena Alexieva and her The Knight, the devil and the death (Рицарят, дяволът и смъртта); Pip Volant and the title Mamka (Мамка); and finally, Teodora Dimova's Adriana (Адриана).
The winner will be announced in October.
Boryana Hristova shared with the guests at the news conference that she seemed to have liked the novels written by the women in this year's competition. Hristova alluded to strong feminine presence in French and British literature in various time periods. This could be such a moment for Bulgaria, she said, and added that her favourite novel among the six selected was Photo Stojanovich.
"We cannot divide literature into feminine and masculine," Andrei Slabakov reacted to Hristova's words. "Literature can be only good or bad, and I could tell you that the general level of what I've read so far is not particularly high, as far as literary talent is concerned," the film director said.
Until the winner is announced, the six competing novels will be conveniently displayed at Pingvinite and Siela bookstores, with the sole purpose to encourage people to buy and read Bulgarian literature, organisers of the news conference said.
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