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.
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 the Czech Republic and Romania. In 2006 he help found the literary review L’Atelier du roman with a number of major writers, including Milan Kundera and Michel Houellebecq. With Livre pour adultes (2016), he was shortlisted for the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Interallié, and the Grand Prix du roman de l’Académie française. He is the author of numerous music shows that have been broadcast by France 3, France 5, and France Musique, and writes for the weekly 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 Nelly (Femenino Lumen Prize, 1997), Donde nadie te encuentre is a historical novel (Nadal Prize, 2011), Hombres desnudos tells a story of male prostitution (Planeta Prize, 2015). With Petra Delicado, the lead character of her detective fiction, she became one of the most famous Spanish thriller writers and her books are translated into sixteen languages. Those investigations conducted by a female police officer are adapted for Spanish television (1999) as well as for Italian television (filming underway in 2018). They also earned her the prestigious Raymond Chandler Prize in 2008. Petra’s adventures are published by Europa in English.
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 Le Point, Lire, L’Humanité, Philosophie Magazine, L’Echo des savanes, Fluide glacial, Charlie Hebdo, Le Nouvel Observateur, Marianne, 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, published by Dargaud, was adapted for television (Arte) as an animated series. Berjeaut 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, which takes a humorous look at Greek mythology.
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 forty 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. He has recently been elected the President of PEN Ukraine.
The poet, essayist and translator 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 built around the feeling of belonging to an “other” place and its myths. His long poem called Dwanaście stacji (Twelve Stations) was awarded the 2004 Kościelski Foundation Prize and was nominated for the 2005 Nike Prize. In 2006, Kolonie was translated into French and published in a bilingual edition titled Les colonies. He has translated Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Segalen, and writes for numerous reviews, both in Poland (Czas Kultury, Odra), and abroad (Pen America). His books have been published in France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and the United States.