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.
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.
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.
Born in 1946 in the Algarve, Portugal, Lídia Jorge is considered a leading light of new wave Portuguese literature after the Carnation Revolution. She is the author of novels, short stories, children’s books, plays, essays, and poetry. Her debut work, the novel O Dia dos Prodígios (1980) is deeply rooted in the history of Portugal. Today Jorge’s substantial body of work includes A Costa dos Murmúrios (1988), written in the wake of the years she spent in Mozambique during the colonial war; A Última Dona (1992); O Vale de paixão (1998; available in English as The Painter of Birds); O Vento Assobiando nas Gruas (2002); Combateremos a Sombra (2007); A Noite das Mulheres Cantoras (2011); and Os Memoráveis (2014). Her most recent novel, Estuário (2018), took the XXIV DST Grand Prize for Literature in 2019, while its French translation was shortlisted for the Prix Médicis the same year. Translated into over twenty languages, her work has been awarded numerous other prizes over the years, including the Internationaler Literaturpreis Albatros 2006 and the Premio FIL de Literatura en Lenguas Romances 2020.
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.
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.
Born in 1943 in the Urals, Ludmila Ulitskaya is a Russian writer, dramatist, and scriptwriter. A graduate of Moscow University in the 1960s with a Master’s in biology and genetics, Ulitskaya lost her chair at the university for helping to spread writings that were banned by the Soviet regime. She has written short stories and plays for stage and radio, but it was after the fall of the Soviet Union that her work gained widespread acclaim. Now translated and recognized internationally, she is the author of some fifteen works of fiction, including Sonechka (1995), Medea (1996), Funeral Party (1997), Daniel Stein, Interpreter (2006), Yakov’s Ladder (2015), and Just the Plague (2020). She has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes, notably the Russian Booker Prize (2002) for The Kukotsky Enigma, and was named a Chevalier des arts et des lettres in France (2004).