Three finalists include: the Orphanage, Boat Number Five and the Book of Katerina








  • Three novels in English translation by Auguste Corteau (Greece), Monika Kompaníková (Slovak Republic) and Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine) shortlisted for €20,000 prize

  • Prize shared equally between writer and translator

  • Winner announced on 13 June 2022


Three novels have been announced as the finalists of the fifth EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in collaboration with the British Council.


The EBRD Literature Prize celebrates the very best in translated literature from the almost 40 countries where the Bank invests, from Central and eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.


The €20,000 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 in the previous year.


The three finalists for EBRD Literature Prize 2022, in alphabetical order, by author, are:


The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau, translated by Claire Papamichail (Parthian Books). Language: Greek. Country: Greece.


Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated by Janet Livingstone (Seagull Books). Language: Slovak. Country: Slovak Republic.


The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler (Yale University Press). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.


The EBRD Literature Prize is distinct in that it not only covers diverse regions but is also one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator in equal measure: the winning book will receive the top prize money of €20,000, which will be split evenly between the author and the translator. The two runner-up titles will receive €8,000, similarly divided.


The winner of the EBRD Literature Prize 2022  will be announced on 13 June.


Toby Lichtig, Chair of Judges, said:  “The panel and I are delighted with this list of finalists. These three outstanding novels offer a broad sweep of theme and setting, from the tragedy of war to the heartbreak of parenthood to the confusions of childhood. One is set in war-torn Ukraine, one in post-Soviet Bratislava, the third across the Greek twentieth century. All look on the world with fresh eyes, vividly communicating the complexity and intensity of human experience. They are luminously told, brilliantly translated, utterly memorable and unique.”


Read the Judge’s reviews of the three shortlisted titles.


The independent panel of judges for this year’s Prize chose the three finalists from 10 shortlisted titles, announced on 23 March. The shortlisted titles, in alphabetical order by author, were:


Doctor Bianco and Other Stories by Maciek Bielawski, translated by Scotia Gilroy (Terra Librorum Ltd). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.


Birds of Verhovina by Adam Bodor, translated by Peter Sherwood (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Hungarian.  Country: Hungary.


The Book of Katerina by Auguste Corteau, translated by Claire Papamichail (Parthian Books). Language: Greek. Country: Greece.


Red Crosses by Sasha Filipenko, translated by Brian James Baer and Ellen Vayner (Europa Editions UK). Language: Russian. Country: Belarus.


City of Torment by Daniela Hodrova, translated by Veronique Firkusny and Elena Sokol (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Language: Czech. Country: Czech Republic.


Manaschi by Hamid Ismailov, translated by Donald Rayfield (Tilted Axis Press). Language: Uzbek. Country: Uzbekistan.


Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated by Janet Livingstone (Seagull Books). Language: Slovak. Country: Slovak Republic.


Karolina, or the Torn Curtain by Maryla Szymiczkowa (Jacek Dehnel/ Piotr Tarczynski), translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Oneworld Publications). Language: Polish. Country: Poland.


Just the Plague by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated by Polly Gannon (Granta). Language: Russian. Country: Russian Federation


The Orphanage by Serhiy Zhadan, translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Issac Stackhouse Wheeler (Yale University Press). Language: Ukrainian. Country: Ukraine.


The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the EBRD’s Community Initiative, a programme which provides a framework for the engagement of staff and the institution in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in the regions where the Bank works.


The Chair of the Community Initiative, Edward Bannerman said today: “The three finalists represent the diverse region the EBRD is working in. I’m delighted that we can promote various cultures through the EBRD Literature Prize and get acquainted with the local writers who open to us a crucial window into the cultural perspectives and authentic experiences of local communities. I look forward to the judges’ decision on the winner in June”


About the Judges


Toby Lichtig is the Chair of Judges for the 2022 EBRD Literature Prize. Toby is the Fiction and Politics Editor of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). He is also a freelance editor and writer, and writes for a range of publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. Toby has appeared as a guest critic on various television and radio programmes, regularly interviews writers during the Hay Literary Festival, and also freelances as a documentary producer. He was Chair of Judges of the 2018 JQ-Wingate Prize, and a jury member of the 2019 EU Prize for Literature. He served as Chair of Judges for the 2021 edition of the EBRD Literature Prize. 


Twitter: @TobyLichtig


Alex Clark is a critic, journalist and broadcaster. A co-host of Graham Norton’s Book Club, she is also a regular on Radio 4 and writes on a wide range of subjects for the Guardian, the Observer, the Irish Times and the TLS. She is a patron of the Cambridge Literary Festival, and has judged many literary awards, including the Booker Prize. She is an experienced chair of live events, and lives in Kilkenny, Ireland.


Twitter: @AlexClark3


Boris Dralyuk is a literary translator, a poet, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books. His work has appeared in the TLS, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, London Review of Books, the Guardian, and other journals. He is the author of Western Crime Fiction Goes East: The Russian Pinkerton Craze 1907-1934; translator of several volumes from the Russian, including work by Isaac Babel, Andrey Kurkov, Maxim Osipov, and Mikhail Zoshchenko; editor of 1917: Stories and Poems from the Russian Revolution; and co-editor of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (2015). Boris received first prize in the 2011 Compass Translation Award competition, and in 2020 won the inaugural Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing from the Washington Monthly. His collection My Hollywood and Other Poems will appear from Paul Dry Books in April 2022.


Dr Kathryn Murphy is a literary critic and scholar who reviews Czech literature for the TLS, and is a regular contributor, both as a reviewer and essayist, to Apollo: The International Art Magazine. She is a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oriel College, and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of English, University of Oxford. Her various interests include literature, theology, and philosophy in the seventeenth century; Central European literature; the literary essay; and still-life painting. Kathryn is co-editor of On Essays: Montaigne to the Present (Oxford, 2020) and a curator of the Bodleian exhibition Melancholy: A New Anatomy. Her book Robert Burton: A Vital Melancholy will be published by Reaktion in 2022.