Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, President of the jury
The publisher Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, long 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, and Wydawnictwo Literackie. In 2004 Vera Michalski created the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature, whose mission is to provide support to practitioners of the written word and foster the love of reading.
Etel Adnan was born on February 24,1925 in Beirut. Lebanese American artist and writer, she presently lives and works in Paris. Since the 1960s, Etel Adnan has been making accordion-fold books, or leporellos, that meld visual and verbal observation, fusing the artist’s parallel practices in painting and writing as she transcribes poems and records unfolding landscapes and urban spaces. Adnan’s artworks feature in numerous collections, including Centre Pompidou, Paris, Royal Jordanian Museum, Tunis Modern Art Museum, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, British Museum, London, World Bank Collection, Washington D.C., and National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C, as well as within many private collections.
Charles Dantzig was born in 1961 in Tarbes, France. A publisher, translator, and writer, Mr. Dantzig is the author of a number of novels – Un film d’amour (2003), Je m’appelle François (2007), Dans un avion pour Caracas (2011), Histoire de l’amour et de la haine (2015) – essays – Dictionnaire égoïste de la littérature française (2005, the Prix Décembre and the Prix de l’essai of the French Academy), Encyclopédie capricieuse du tout et du rien (2009), Pourquoi lire ? (2010), and A propos des chefs-d’œuvre (2013) – and poetry collections – La diva aux longs cils (2010) and Les nageurs (2010). He was awarded the Grand Prix Jean Giono in 2010 for his body of work as a whole.
Born in Gdańsk in 1980, Jacek Dehnel is a Polish poet, novelist, translator, literary columnist and painter. A graduate of the University of Warsaw, he is a specialist of English poetry. Hailed by the Nobel Prize Laureate Czesław Miłosz when his first collection of poems, Żywoty równoległe (Parallel Lives, 2004), was published, Mr. Dehnel has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Kościelski Prize in 2005. His novels Lala (2006) and Saturn (2011/2014) have proved a success in Europe with both the public and critics.
Andrey Kurkov (born in 1961 in Leningrad, Russia) is a Ukrainian novelist who writes in Russian. He is the author of 13 novels and 5 books for children. His work is currently translated into 36 languages including English, Japanese, French, Chinese and Hebrew. He has also written assorted articles for various publications world-wide.
His critically acclaimed books, including Death and the Penguin, The President’s Last Love, The Milkman in the Night, are full of black humour, post-Soviet reality and elements of surrealism.
Born in the Hague in 1933, the Dutch-speaking writer Cees Nooteboom has been drawing on his passion for literature and travel to create a rich, fertile, and wonderfully varied body of work since 1955, the year his first novel appeared, Philip and the Others. Since then the books have regularly flowed from his pen: fiction and short stories – including Rituals (1980/1983), All Souls’ Day (1998/2001), Lost Paradise (2004/2007), Rode Regen (2007), The Foxes Come at Night (2009/2011) – collections of poetry – Het gezicht van het oog (1989) – as well as journalism and the literary, philosophical, or meditative essay – Tumbas, Graven van Dichters en Denkers (2007), and Letters to Poseidon (2012/2014). Translated around the world, his writing has garnered a number of prestigious prizes in Europe, including the Dutch Literature Prize in 2009. He lives in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Minorca.
A writer and translator whose work has earned multiple awards, Ilma Rakusa was born in 1946 in present-day Slovakia. Her childhood was spent in Budapest, Ljubljana and Trieste, and eventually Zurich, where she studied Slavic languages and Romanian literature. Since 1977 she has published many poetry collections, stories, and essays in German. A number have been singled out for awards, including the prestigious Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. Mehr Meer earned the author the Schweizer Buchpreis in 2009. Ilma Rakusa translates from French, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, and German, and has written articles for NZZ and Die Zeit. She is a member of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (the German Academy of Language and Literature).
Born in 1956, Shashi Tharoor studied in both India and the United States before joining the United Nations, where he served in a number of high-level posts. He went on to pursue a successful political career in India. Mr. Tharoor is also the bestselling author of a number of books, The Great Indian Novel (1989), Show Business (1992), Riot (2001), The Five Dollar Smile and Other Stories (1990) and Nehru, the Invention of India (2003).