The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2010
Launched on 27 October 2009 by the Jan Michalski Foundation, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is designed to recompense a work of world literature. From the ten authors selected for the 2010 Prize, the members of the international Jury, Włodzimierz Bolecki, Nuruddin Farah, Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, Georges Nivat, Jorge Semprun, Ilija Trojanow and Fabienne Verdier, selected Aleksandar Hemon for his extraordinary novel, «The Lazarus Project». The President of the Jury, Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, presented the winner with the prize, worth CHF 50,000, and a work of art created especially for the occasion by artist Olivier Estoppey.
The winner, Aleksandar Hemon, was born in Sarajevo in 1964. He has lived in Chicago in the United States since 1992. The winning book, «The Lazarus Project», was written directly in English. The novel, set both in Chicago in 1908 and in the present in various Eastern European countries, marvellously combines historical detail with the art of storytelling, embellished by a highly inventive use of language and with the siege of Sarajevo as its background.
The two other finalists were Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, an author from Saudi Arabia, for his novel «Wolves of the Crescent Moon», translated from Arabic, and Tim Flannery, an Australian author, for his essay «The Weather Makers».
The work of art presented to Aleksandar Hemon was created by Olivier Estoppey, a Swiss artist. A sculptor and illustrator, he made his name with his monumental works, and particularly Les Loups. Olivier Estoppey’s sculptures have earned him many prizes, including the Grand Prix 2009 of the Canton de Vaud.
The originality of the Jan Michalski Prize lies in its multicultural nature. It is intended to contribute to the international recognition of writers.
The members of the Jury, who are independent and unpaid, submit works in their various languages and undertake to defend them. The pre-selected works are translated into a language that is understood by the different members of the Jury.
Calendar of the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2011 :
28 February 2011 – Closing date for the submission of works by the members of the Jury
The philanthropic action of the Fondation Jan Michalski pour l’Ecriture et la Littérature
The Fondation Jan Michalski pour l’Ecriture et la Littérature was created in 2004 in memory of Jan Michalski to perpetuate his action in support of literary creation. Its calling is to encourage the promotion of literature through a variety of support activities, including financial assistance, the organization of literary events, as well as hosting writers in residence as a way of offering them the means to create their works. The award of the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature broadens the scope of the Foundation’s action.