On Monday, 23 May it was announced that the 10th Czech Book Award had gone to Alena Mornštajnová for her latest novel November Fall / Listopád.
Mornštajnová was chosen from among six shortlisted authors by a jury composed of students from grammar schools in different Czech/Moravian cities (on this occasion Prague, Olomouc and České Budějovice). This is the second time that Mornštajnová has won the award. On the first occasion, in 2018, a six-member jury of experts awarded her the Czech Book Award for the Holocaust-themed novel Hana / Hana. The book also won that year’s Students’ Award, which would become the Awards’ main prize the following year.
‘The setting-up of a student jury changed the project from the ground up,’ says Martin Daneš, founder of the project. ‘The main aim of this move was to distinguish the prize from other domestic literary prizes, and I think it has worked. Students enjoy serving on the jury, and their appreciation comes back to us in the form of new energy and intergenerational dialogue, which are of great value in the discovery of new literary talent.’
November Fall has already been published in Macedonia by the publishing house Muza, in a translation by Igor Stanojoski. Five more foreign-language editions are in preparation: German (Wieser Verlag, Austria, translated by Raija Hauck), Italian (Keller Editore, Letizia Kostner), Polish (Amaltea, Agata Wróbel), Slovenian (Celjska Mohorjeva Družba, Nives Vidrih), Croatian (Hena Com, Sanja Miličevič Armada). The German edition is currently at the printers.
30. 5. 2022