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.
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.