Ljubljana, 16. May (STA) – Authors nomads will be in the focus of this year’s international literary festival Vilenica in September. The prize of the same will be presented to David Albahari, a Canada-residing Serbian writer of Jewish origin.
Born in Peć in Kosovo in 1948, Albahari is one of the most acclaimed and influential prose writers from the former Yugoslavia, a fact confirmed by many literary prizes. He has been living in Calgary, Canada, since 1994.
Announcing the winner at a press conference in Ljubljana on Wednesday, the chair of the Vilenica Prize jury Andrej Blatnik termed Albahari’s writing as “prose of change and void”.
Much is left unsaid, left to the reader, whom Albahari is constantly making to fill in the gaps, also through the selection of contexts, Blatnik explained, adding that Albahari was a rare master of the “silent poem”.
Albahari’s books have been translated into more than 15 languages, two of them also into Slovenian. He has published 13 books of short stories, 14 novels and two books for children.
He has also translated many books by US, British, Australian and Canadian authors, including Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov and Margaret Atwood, and edited several journals and collections of books.
Albahari will accept the Vilenica Prize, presented to authors from Central Europe, at the conclusion of the 27th Vilenica festival, running in the region of Kras between 4 and 9 September.
The festival will focus on authors nomads, that is poets and writers who for various reasons work outside their homeland and sometimes in a foreign language, head of the festival Gašper Troha told reporters.
Apart from Albahari, such authors include Bosnian writer Bekim Sejranović, who lives in Oslo, the Vienna-based Bulgarian writer Dimitre Dinev, and Moroccan Zineb El Rhazoui, who currently lives in Ljubljana.
Albahari, Dinev, El Rhazoui and Maja Haderlap, a member of the Slovenian minority in Austria’s Carinthia, will participate in a round-table debate on the main theme of the festival.
Albahari and this year’s Slovenian author in focus, Boris A. Novak, will be among more than 30 authors from all over the world to present their work at literary readings.
The launch of Slovenian translations of a poetry collection and a novel by last year’s Vilenica laureate, Romanian writer Mirceau Cartarescu, will also be held as part if the festival.
Irish and Italian authors and translations will be invited to work as resident authors in Ljubljana, Kranj and Bled in August, which is to enhance the festival’s role in the exchange of experiences.
Ten publishers, agents and translators, mainly from Italy and Spain will be invited to participate in the programme session dubbed “A Marketplace of Slovenia Literature”.
This year’s contribution to the Vilenca Anthology Collection is an anthology of contemporary Hebrew literature entitled “En zo agada” (This is not a fairy tale). Works by 25 authors have been selected by editor and translator Klemen Jelinčič Boeta.
Apart from the Vilenica Prize, the Vilenica Crystal will be given out to the author of best contribution to the Vilenica 2012 collection.
The Central European Initiative, in cooperation with the Slovenian Writers’ Association, will award a writer’s scholarship, and the Vilenica Cultural Society will present awards to young authors (aged 6-14).