EBRD Literature Prize

Serhiy Zhadan wins the EBRD Literature Prize 2022


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Serhiy Zhadan has been awarded the Literature Prize of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the English translation of his novel The Orphanage

The €20,000 prize will be split evenly between the writer and translators – Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler. The Orphanage was published by Yale University Press last year. 


The book was published in the Ukrainian original in 2017 by Meridian Czernowitz. The events take place in Donbas during three days in winter 2015. A 35-year-old Ukrainian language teacher named Pasha travels to the city to pick up his nephew who lives in a boarding school. It’s not the best time for such a trip as the Ukrainian army is leaving the city, which is surrounded by separatists. 


10 novels from Ukraine, Belarus, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Poland, russia, Slovakia and Uzbekistan were shortlisted this year. Two other books competed with The Orphanage for the top prize – The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau (Greece) and Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková (Slovakia).


The EBRD Literature Prize was created in 2017 in cooperation with the British Council to celebrate the wealth of cultures in regions where the bank invests: from central and eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean – 38 countries in total (including Ukraine).  


The prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction originally written in a language from one of these countries, which has been translated into English and published by a UK or a Europe-based publisher. It is one of the few international literature prizes which recognizes both the writer and translator in equal measure.


Three Ukrainian authors were longlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2021: Andriy Lyubka, Andrey Kurkov and Oksana Zabuzhko. 


 Read a review of Zhadan’s The Orphanage.