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.
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.
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 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).