Catalan writer Irene Solà wins 2020 EU Prize for Literature
Catalan writer Irene Solà wins 2020 EU Prize for Literature

Catalan writer Irene Solà (Malla, Barcelona 1990) is one of the 13 European Union Prize for Literature awardees this year for her novel Canto jo i la muntanya balla (I sing and the mountain dances), published by Anagrama, 2019. Her novel is set in the Pyrenees with humans, nature, and legends playing a key role.

The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognizes the work of emerging fiction writers. Its aim is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and to encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. This year's winners are:

Nathalie Skowronek (Belgium), Lana Bastašić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Maša Kolanović (Croatia), Stavros Christodoulou (Cyprus), Asta Olivia Nordentoft (Denmark), Made Luiga (Estonia), Matthias Nawrat (Germany), Shpëtim Selmani (Kosovo) , Francis Kirps (Luxembourg), Stefan Bošković (Montenegro), Petar Andonovski (Northern Macedonia), Maria Navarro Skarange (Norway) and Irene Solà (Spain).

This is the first time that a book in Catalan receives the European Union Literature Prize. According to the jury comments: “The jury has selected this work for the richness, naturalness and expressiveness of its language, for the poetic and imaginative way of explaining a series of stories located in a natural and border setting, through various narrators, some unexpected. A novel that combines beauty and toughness, with its own universe narrated in a vigorous and surprising style.”

Catalan author Joan Bensiu was among the finalists for his novel titled Serem Atlàntida (We will be Atlantis) published by Edicions del Periscopi.

The Prize is financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, which aims to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue.

The competition is open to the 41 countries involved in the Creative Europe programme. National juries comprised of publishers, booksellers, authors and critics have selected the winners from each of the 13 countries participating this year. The Prize has been recognising emerging fiction writers from across Europe since 2009.


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