Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, President of the jury
The publisher Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, who has always been committed to promoting literature and the written word, founded the publishing group Libella with Jan Michalski. Since 1986, numerous authors have been brought out in French and Polish at various publishing houses, including Noir sur Blanc, Buchet-Chastel, Phébus, Wydawnictwo Literackie, and World Editions. In 2004 Vera Michalski created the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature, whose mission is to foster literary creation and encourage the practice of reading through a range of initiatives and activities.
The novelist, essayist, and musical critic Benoît Duteurtre was born in 1960 in Normandy, France. He took a degree in musicology and published his first novel, Sommeil perdu, in 1985. Drôle de temps was awarded the 1997 Prix de l’Académie française, and Le voyage en France the 2001 Prix Médicis. La petite fille et la cigarette, published in 2005, has been translated into a score of languages and was adapted for the stage. In 2006 he help found the literary review L’Atelier du roman with Milan Kundera and Michel Houellebecq. His recent titles are Livre pour adultes (2016) and En marche! Conte philosophique (2018). He is the author of numerous music shows that have been broadcast by France 3, France 5, and France Musique, and writes for the magazine Marianne, as well as Le Figaro littéraire and Le Monde de la musique.
Alicia Giménez Bartlett
Born in Almansa, Spain, in 1951, Alicia Giménez Bartlett holds a degree in philology and graduated from the University of Barcelona. She wrote her first novel Exit in 1984. Since then, her essays and novels have been rewarded with many literary prizes: Una habitación ajena captures the tense relations between Virginia Woolf and her handmaid (Femenino Lumen Prize, 1997), Donde nadie te encuentre (Nadal Prize, 2011), and Hombres desnudos (Planeta Prize, 2015). With her detective stories featuring Petra Delicado she became one of the most famous Spanish thriller writers, translated into sixteen languages. Those investigations are adapted for television. They also earned her the prestigious Raymond Chandler Prize in 2008.
Siri Hustvedt was born in 1955 in Minnesota (USA) to Norwegian-American parents. This American writer, poet and essayist is also specialized in psychiatric studies. Hustvedt, after earning her PhD in English literature from Columbia University, published her first novel in 1992, The Blindfold. She followed this debut work with a series of novels that includes What I Loved in 2003, The Summer Without Men in 2011, and The Blazing World in 2014, all of which enjoyed an international success. Her nonfiction book The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves (2009) examines psychiatric troubles while drawing connections between the humanities and the neurosciences. Since 2015 Hustvedt has also taught as a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University’s Faculty of Medicine. In 2012, she was given the Gabarron International Award for Thought and Humanities. In 2019, she received the Princess Asturias Award for her work as a whole, and the Charles Veillon European Essay Prize for The Delusions of Certainty. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages.
The writer and journalist Carsten Jensen was born in 1952 in Marstal (Denmark). After graduating from the University of Copenhagen with a master’s degree in literature, Jensen started writing for the daily Politiken and became a regular contributor to a number of titles in the Danish press. In 1997 he received the Danish booksellers’ Golden Laurel Award for his travel book Jeg har set verden begynde. In 2001 he began teaching at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Odense. His first novel, Vi, de druknede (We, the Drowned), published in 2009, enjoyed great critical and popular success and earned him the prestigious Danske Banks Litteraturpris while the French translation of the book took the Prix Gens de mer at the Étonnants Voyageurs (Amazing Travelers) Festival of Saint-Malo. In 2010 Jensen was awarded Olof Palme Prize. His monumental novel Den første sten (The First Stone) about a group of Danish soldiers who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan was published in 2015. His work has been translated in some twenty countries.
Jul (Julien Berjeaut)
The political cartoonist and author of French comic books Julien Berjeaut, known as Jul, was born in 1974. He graduated with a teaching degree in history and was teaching Chinese history when he chose to devote himself to cartooning. He has worked for a number of newspapers and magazines, including Lire, Charlie Hebdo, Le Nouvel Observateur, Libération, and Le Monde. In 2005 he published his first comic book with Il faut tuer José Bové, a popular success that poked fun at anti-globalists. In 2012 his series Silex and the City was adapted for television (Arte) as an animated series. Jul has also worked as a cartoonist for various television shows (Le Grand Journal on Canal+, La Grande Librairie on France 5, 28 minutes on Arte). In 2016 he became the new cartoonist behind the venerable Lucky Luke series of comic books. In 2018 Arte broadcast 50 nuances de Grecs, inspired by his comic book of the same name.
Andrey Kurkov is a Ukrainian writer who writes in Russian. Born in St Petersburg in 1961, he graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, worked for some time as a journalist, did military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and novelist. He is the author of nineteen novels – including the critically acclaimed Death and the Penguin, The President’s Last Love, The Milkman in the Night –, nine books for children, and twenty documentary, fiction and TV movie scripts. His work is currently translated into forty languages. He has recently been elected the President of PEN Ukraine.
The poet, essayist and translator from the French Tomasz Różycki was born in 1970 in Opole, Poland. After taking a degree in Romance philology at the Jagiellonian University (Kraków), he joined the teaching staff at the teachers training college for foreign languages in Opole. His work, emblematic of a generation caught up in the current uncertainties roiling world politics, is published in France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and the United States. His long poem called Dwanaście stacji (Twelve Stations) was awarded the 2004 Kościelski Foundation Prize and was nominated for the 2005 Nike Prize. Colonies, translation into English of Kolonie, won the 2014 Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. He has translated Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Segalen, and writes for numerous reviews, such as Czas Kultury, Odra, PEN America.