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EBRD Literature Prize 2024 Won By The End, Published By Archipelago Books

Author And Translator React To Their Win At The EBRD Headquarters In London.
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By Cyber Era NG Special Correspondent

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that The End, a novel by Attila Bartis, translated from Hungarian into English by Judith Sollosy and published by Archipelago Books, has won the EBRD Literature Prize 2024.

The winning work, originally published in Hungary in 2015 and published in English for the first time last year, was chosen by an independent panel of judges: Maya Jaggi (Chair), Maureen Freely and Philippe Sands.

Both author and translator were congratulated in person by the president of the EBRD, Odile Renaud-Basso, at an awards ceremony at the Bank’s headquarters in London. The €20,000(US$21,411.20) prize will be split equally between them.

It is the first time a Hungarian novel has won the Prize. Reacting to his win, author Attila Bartis said, “Honestly, it was absolutely unexpected. I was very glad there were two Hungarians in the final three because Hungarian literature is very, very good. Winning was an extremely big surprise for me. And I have no idea how I will feel about this tomorrow or later!”

Translator, Judith Sollosy, said “”I’m really, really surprised, truly surprised. And very, very happy that such a wonderful book by such a wonderful writer won. It’s wonderful.”

Chair of judges, Maya Jaggi, said “From the three marvellous books that my fellow judges and I chose as finalists, Attila Bartis’s The End, in Judith’s Sollosy’s consummate English translation, emerged as the unanimous winner. A tour de force by a novelist who is also a photographer, it is a devastatingly frank portrait of an artist under pressure in post-communist Hungary, and the disintegration of a family in a police state.

“If I see something in a photograph, I remember it for life,” says the narrator of this collage of a novel, innovatively structured like a succession of snapshots, each capturing an image or a fragment of memory. Restlessly experimental in its search for truth, and saving its biggest surprises for the final pages, The End can pivot seamlessly from a searing argument between a father and son to close observation of the random movement of an ant. With great originality, and an ultimate faith in the power of art, this novel will move and astonish readers around the world.”

The authors and translators of the two other finalist books also received awards: The Wounded Age and Eastern Tales by Ferit Edgü, translated from Turkish by Aron Aji and published by The New York Review of Books, and Krisztina Tóth’s collection of short stories, Barcode, translated from Hungarian by Peter Sherwood and published by Jantar Publishing.

Now in its seventh year, this unique annual prize is awarded by the EBRD to authors from countries where the Bank invests and their English-language translators.

The Prize acknowledges and promotes cultural diversity and the abundance of literary expression across central and eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. It also celebrates the important role that translators play in bridging different cultures.

The Prize has already introduced readers to a wide range of literature from countries such as Albania, Croatia, Czechia, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Türkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The EBRD Literature Prize is part of the Bank’s Community Initiative, which engages the institution and its staff in philanthropic, social and cultural activities in the regions where the EBRD operates.

Submissions for the EBRD Literature Prize 2025 will open in the autumn. For more information, please see EBRD Literature Prize overview or contact LiteraturePrize@ebrd.com.

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