National Book Critics Circle named the winners


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The National Book Critics Circle Award has announced the winners, including Ukrainian Andriy Kurkov with his novel Grey Bees. This was reported on the official website of the award.


The National Book Critics Circle presents awards for the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism. It also presents awards named in honor of outstanding personalities: Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, John Leonard Prize for the best first book in any genre, Toni Morrison Achievement Award, Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.


Andriy Kurkov’s novel Grey Bees, translated into English by Boris Dralyuk and published in 2018 by Folio Publishing House in Kharkiv, won the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize. The award was established in 2021 in honor of the American activist writer, playwright, film director, and artist.

As a reminder, the novel Grey Bees is set in the “grey zone” between Ukraine and the breakaway Donetsk region (prior to the 2022 Russian invasion). Two old people become the last inhabitants of the village: a pro-Ukrainian beekeeper Sergeyich and his opponent Pashka. Determined to save the hives from the war, Sergeyich sets out on a journey across the country to find a quiet place, and at the same time his own inner peace.


The full list of National Book Critics Circle Award winners is available on the award’s website.


The National Book Critics Circle Award has been supporting literary criticism and book culture since 1976. The award recognizes “outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature.” The winners of the National Book Critics Circle Award are traditionally determined in March by literary critics who are members of the National Book Critics Circle. Over the years, the award’s laureates have included Toni Morrison, Thomas Flanagan, John Updike, Anne Tyler, Susan Sontag, Jorge Luis Borges, and others.


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Photo: Valentyn Kuzan