Opening reception of the photo exhibition: 14 Oct., 12 noon, Hall 4.0, foyer
Winners of the European Union Prize for Literature 2015 (EUPL) at the official award ceremony in Brussels, June 2015. ©Philippe Molitor (gleamlight.com)
The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is a unique award: 37 countries take part in the Prize, with each one selecting a winner every three years, on a rotation basis. This year’s twelve winners – selected by national juries – were announced by the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, in April.
Now the Prize enters the spotlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest gathering of the literary trade. It is an opportunity for the Prize, and this year’s winners, to become known to a wider audience. Visitors to the Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October) will find a photo exhibition showcasing the 2015 winners in the foyer of Hall 4.0 (on the left-hand side as you enter from the Agora), and on 14 October, at the opening reception for the photo exhibition at midday, a new ‘Friends of EUPL’ initiative will be discussed.
And there are many reasons to be a Friend of the Prize. The EUPL aims to put the spotlight on the creativity and wealth of European contemporary fiction, taking literature beyond borders to the attention of new audiences, beyond national or linguistic boundaries.
EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics said that prizes such as the EUPL are symbols of a community, and that despite the range of languages, a European cultural community does exist. “It is not a homogenous one. It is not characterised by a single language or heritage, but still there is an element of coherence in that community.”
Anne Bergman-Tahon, the Director of the Federation of European Publishers which organises the Prize as part of a consortium with the European & International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) and the European Writers Council (EWC) thinks that the value of the Prize lies in bringing authors to the attention of a wider audience: “If you look at previous winners, they have reached readers and markets they wouldn’t have been able to reach. The real virtue of the prize is to increase the circulation of literature,” she said. “We are looking to make authors better known. That is why we collaborate with the Frankfurt Book Fair and other literary trade events.”
Fran Dubruille, Director of the EIBF, adds: “Booksellers are always extremely keen to bring emerging talents to the attention of their customers. After seven years of the EUPL, the Prize offers a fantastic array of talented writers to European readers.”
Bergman-Tahon adds that the multiplicity of winners reflects the variety of literature on offer throughout the continent. “Just like the European Union, it’s a lovely but complicated concept”, she says, acknowledging that the unusual nature of the Prize may hinder wider recognition.
But the events at Frankfurt aim to show that complicated things can be beautiful.
So why not come along and discover this unique prize?
Visit the photo exhibition dedicated to this year’s winners of the European Union Prize for Literature:
when: 14-18 October 2015
where: Frankfurt Book Fair, hall 4.0, foyer (on the left-hand side as you enter from the Agora)
opening reception: 14 October, 12 noon -12.30 p.m.
(please register beforehand for the opening reception by writing an email to: Nina Klein, Asociate Partner Frankfurt Book Fair, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 2015 EUPL winners are: Carolina Schutti (Austria); Luka Bekavac (Croatia); Gaëlle Josse (France); Edina Szvoren (Hungary); Donal Ryan (Ireland); Lorenzo Amurri (Italy); Undinė Radzevičiūtė (Lithuania); Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway); Magdalena Parys (Poland); David Machado (Portugal); Svetlana Žuchová (Slovakia) and Sara Stridsberg (Sweden).
This article was adapted from a Euractiv Special report article, published on 20 April. Read the full Special Report at http://www.euractiv.com/sections/2015-eu-prize-literature
Keep up to date with news on the Prize via Twitter (@EUPLPrize) and Facebook (search for ‘European Union Prize for Literature’) and at euprizeliterature.eu