Kateryna Babkina wins the Angelus Central European Literature Award

Ukrainian writer Kateryna Babkina won the 2021 Angelus Central European Literature Award (Polish: Nagroda Literacka Europy Środkowej Angelus).

Kateryna Babkina’s winning book Мій дід танцював краще за всіх/ My grandfather danced better than anyone else is a series of 12 short stories that form a single story of five families whose children meet on the first day of school in the first year of Ukraine’s independence and remain friends for their whole lives. Polish writer and literary critic Bohdan Zadura won the prize for translating the book from Ukrainian into Polish for Warsztaty Kultury publishing house (Lublin), which published the book last year under Polish title Nikt tak nie tańczył, jak mój dziadek.

Kateryna Babkina (Катерина Бабкіна) was born in Ivano-Frankivsk in 1985. She graduated the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She is a poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright and screenwriter. Kateryna Babkina became the fourth Ukrainian winner of the award since its establishment in 2006 and the first to win the main award and the Audience Choice at the same time. Other Ukrainian winning writers are:

  • 2015: Serhiy Zhadan, for Mezopotamia/ Месопотамія
  • 2013: Oksana Zabuzhko, for The Museum of Abandoned SecretsМузей покинутих секретів
  • 2006: Yurii Andrukhovych, for Twelve Circles/Дванадцять обручів

The ANGELUS Central European Literature Award (the most important Polish award in the field of creative prose written by Central European writers and published in Poland) is directly connected to the centuries long tradition of Wroclaw as a city of meetings and dialogue. Due to its history and location, Wroclaw has always stood as a place where various nations, cultures and intellectual currents have overlapped. The award is presented on an annual basis to writers from Central Europe whose works undertake themes the most relevant to the present day, encourage reflection and expand the knowledge of other cultures. The prize is a cheque for the amount of 150,000 Polish zloty and a statuette by Ewa Rossano for the writer, as well as 20,000 Polish zloty for the translator. The award is funded and organised by the City of Wroclaw.