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Jančar receives major Austrian literature prize today

Vienna, 3 August - Drago Jančar, arguably Slovenia's leading contemporary writer, will formally receive on Monday the Austrian State Prize for European Literature 2020. The life-time achievement award is awarded to writers with a strong international presence.

Writer Drago Jančar.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

"Taking an individual to penetratingly render understandable the delusions of our history: this is one of the big strengths of his literature," the jury wrote about the 71-year-old.

Jančar is well known in the German-speaking world and a number of his works have been translated into the German, among them the 2017 novel And Love Itself (In Ljubezen tudi)

His works often deal with individual's struggles with society and some delve into post-WWII events in Slovenia, a source of many present-day political fault lines.

Jančar, a novelist, playwright and essayist, is the most widely translated Slovenian writer and has received an unparalleled number of awards in Slovenia and abroad.

He has written eleven novels; one of the most celebrated ones, I Saw Her That Night (To Noč Sem Jo Videl; 2010) has been translated into at least ten languages.

He is the only Slovenian writer to have won the prestigious Slovenian Kresnik Prize for the best novel of the year four times, most recently with And Love Itself in 2018.

The Austrian State Prize for European Literature is handed out annually for the oeuvre of an European author that has won international acclaim and has been translated into German.

Some of the previous winners include French writer Michel Houellebecq (2019), English novelist Zadie Smith (2018) and Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano (2012).

© STA, 2020