Tina Vrščaj's novel nominated for EU literature award

Brussels, 29 February - Na Klancu (On the Hill), a family and love novel by Tina Vrščaj, is one of the 13 nominated books for the European Union Prize for Literature, the award for the best emerging authors of fiction in the EU and beyond. The award will be conferred in Brussels on 4 April.

Tina Vrščaj in January 2022, when her Na Klancu (On the Hill) won the Blue Bird, a prize for as yet unpublished novel handed out by publisher Mladinska Knjiga.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA
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The novel interweaves the intimate and social themes of ecology, social media, gender roles and motherhood, while its structure is dynamic and dramatic, Cankarjeva Založba said when it published it in 2022.

The story focuses on the relationship between Eva and Gregor, who live with two daughters on a hill, away from the world, and start realising their values do not match. Environmentally conscious Eva tries to live without social media, but in her attempt to transcend egotism comes across as strange and gets estranged from Gregor.

"It feels like Brussels wind pushing you ahead. Klanec has got a ticket to Europe. This truly Slovenian novel, so permeated with the local, will now be able to see whether global forces are also reflected in it. I'm proud, but I also bite my lip a bit at the whirlwind into which it is pulling me. Well, I like the wind," Vrščaj commented on the nomination.

Cankarjeva Založba director Alenka Kepic Mohar said that the nomination did not come as a surprise, but they rejoiced at the news of it, highlighting that the novel had been nominated for the Kresnik prize last year and received the Blue Bird award in 2022.

"Readers are eagerly reading it, and there is also a lot of interest abroad. The international nomination is a tribute to Tina Vrščaj and at the same time a recognition of the professionalism of the Slovenian juries for literary awards," she was quoted as saying in a press release.

The book's editor Aljoša Harlamov said the novel had appealed to many readers since its publication, both with its theme of questioning the "battle between the sexes" and with its ecological theme, which is not yet very common in Slovenian literature.

Vrščaj, born in 1987, is a writer and literary critic while she also translates from English. Na Klancu is her third novel after Zataknjena v Pomladi (Stuck in Spring), which was published in 2010, and Odradek in 2012. She also writes short stories and books for children.

The EU Prize for Literature is organised by a consortium of the Federation of European Publishers and the European and International Booksellers Federation with support from the Creative Europe programme. The competition is open to 41 countries currently involved in Creative Europe.

© STA, 2024