The tportal literary award Jury, chaired by translator and poet Vanda Mikšić, and comprising Croatist Andrea Milanko, director Anica Tomić, writer Robert Perišić and psychologist and tportal columnist Boris Jokić, chose the winner of this year's tportal competition for the best Croatian novel. Last night, at the award ceremony in Zagreb's Velvet Café, the writer Marija Andrijašević was awarded for the novel 'Land without Twilight'
47 titles were submitted for the 15th tportal Literary Award, which is awarded to the author of the best Croatian novel published in the last calendar year. After thousands of pages read and a long deliberation, they came to the decision: the best Croatian novel last year was 'Land without Twilight', the prose debut of Marija Andrijašević, an award-winning poet who was awarded Goran for Young Poets in 2007 for her collection of poems. 'David, they did things to me'. Andrijašević shone with the novel and won the tportal literary award, with a check for 50,000 kunas and a specially designed sculpture, created this year for the fifteenth, jubilee edition of the recycled glass award by local designer and artist Silvio Vujičić. Along with the winner of the competition, Marija Andrijašević, the finals of this year's tportal literary award were reached by Marinko Koščec (Alone), Đorđe Matić (Out of nowhere with love), Sandra Antolić (Peculiar) and Nora Verde (My trousseau).
The actress Anđela Ramljak was the MC at the tportal Literary Prize Award in Zagreb's Velvet café in Dežmanova Street The audience was first addressed by the acting editor-in-chief of tportal Dijana Suton.
'I am glad to welcome you to the 15th edition of the tportal Literary Award, which over time has become a recognizable place in Croatian culture. I would like to thank the jury, members of the editorial board, editors, and our publisher Hrvatski Telekom, which has been supporting this important project all these years. I believe that the award will achieve its goal this year as well, bring the novel closer to the readers and do what good art always does: ennoble us and open some new vistas for us', said Dijana Suton before the award ceremony.
Then the president of the jury, Vanda Mikšić, took the floor, looking back at this year's competition for the award.
"It's wonderful to be in your company and I'm extremely excited," Mikšić told the finalists and the audience, adding that it doesn't happen every day that an award for domestic literature is presented.
'The jury has had these members for the third year. I can say that we read novels in detail and carefully, we discuss them a lot, and that is a great happiness for us because friendship has developed from these gatherings', said the president of the jury Mikšić and continued about how literature is' far from the exact science'.
'Literature is a space of emotion, of experience. It is a space of difference. Of course, our readings were different, and this decision is the intersection of our tastes, previous readings, and everything we carry with us', said Mikšić, announcing the winner.
The writer Marija Andrijašević was congratulated by the delegate of the Ministry of Culture and Media, Irena Kregar Šegota, who presented her with the award, and Andrijašević then addressed the audience briefly.
Winner Marija Andrijašević
"I will not give a particularly long speech, but I will thank my editor Kruno Lokotar, publisher Seid Serdarević, Olja Savičević Ivančević and a bunch of friends who supported me while I was working on the novel. I will also mention the other finalists: I was honored to be in such a company and it is a great thing for me to receive this award," said Andrijašević, concluding that winning a literary award such as tportal's guarantees that she will write a new novel in five, not fifteen years, the time we waited for "Earth without Twilight".
"Marija Andrijašević's debut novel is a literary surprise that not only stands out in last year's Croatian novel production due to the density of style and chiseled sentence and patient construction of the text but has its poetic relative only in Desnica's Springs by Ivan Galeb (1957). It is a novel written against the background of the tradition of great narrators who gave the Dalmatian hinterland a prose form, such as Šimunović, the aforementioned Desnica, Božić, and Raos, portraying the same patriarchal ambiance, its suffocating atmosphere and clannish attack on an individual if they do not fit into the laws of the collective, with the difference that the author conceived at all levels - narrative, actancial, symbolic, stylistic - achieved an impressive female character, giving her the voice to lead the reader through an emotionally convincing and life story of the daughter-father relationship (...)"
In addition to the cash prize and sculpture, Marija Andrijašević will also receive an audio edition of her novel
For the first time this year, the tportal literary award provides the winners with added value in the form of an audio edition of the winning novel on the platform. Book&Zvook.
The tportal Literary Award has thus become the only domestic award that gives the winning book an audio edition, and this fact will contribute to the visibility of the winning novel and its readership. The winning novel will be "translated" into an audio edition by professional actors and actresses, edited by former Croatian Radio journalist Ljubica Letinić and playwright Lana Deban, and you will be able to listen to it while driving, traveling to work, or doing sports... Letinić and Deban are behind the rich digital library reached by the Book & Zvook app. Their audiobooks are listened to in all European countries, but also in India, Indonesia, China, Argentina…
About the award:
Since 2008, the literary prize for the best Croatian novel has been awarded fourteen times, and with years it has become a relevant fact of the domestic cultural scene. It is the only domestic literary prize awarded for a novel written in the Croatian language issued by a publisher registered in Croatia and, with the promotion of authors and literary creativity, is aimed at the promotion of publishing.
Last year's best awarded novel was 'Mladenka kostonoga' by Želimir Periš published by OceanMore.
A year before that, Damir Karakaš was awarded for the novel 'Celebration' published by OceanMore. In 2019, the winner of the tportal Literary Award was Nikola Petković for the novel 'Trip to Gonars' published by Profil, while Dubravka Ugrešić was awarded in 2018 for the novel 'Fox' published by Fraktura. Before her, the winner of 2017 was Kristian Novak with the novel 'Gypsy, but the Most Beautiful' (OceanMore). It was his second time winning the tportal Literary Award. He was previously awarded for the novel "Dark Mother Earth" (Algoritam, a new edition OceanMore).
In the previous years, the awards went to the authors Olja Savičević Ivančević for the novel "Adios Cowboy" (Algoritam, new edition Sandorf) and Sibila Petlevski for "Time of Lies" (Fraktura), Dalibor Šimpraga for the novel '" Anastasia" (Durieux), Tahir Mujičić for the novel "Be Hamlet, Mr. Hamlet" (AGM), Drago Glamuzina for the novel "Three" (Profil), Zoran Malkoč for the novel "Roki Raketa" (Profil), Ivica Đikić for novel "I Dreamed of thew Elephants' (Naklada Ljevak) and Slobodan Šnajder for the "Brass Times" (Tim Press).
You can see a more detailed overview of all previous winners of the tportal literary award on this link.