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2017 winner

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mathias ènard, 2017 XI EDITION winner

Photo credits to Eric Morin


Mathias Enard was born in 1972 in Niort, near Bourdeaux. He studied Persian and Arabic at L'Ecole du Louvre and spent long periods in the Middle East. He has lived in Barcelona for about fifteen years. Among a number of notable prize, such as the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Décembre for Zone, and the Prix Goncourt/Le Choix de l’Orient for Rue des Voleurs (Street of Thieves), in 2015 Enard was awarded the Prix Goncourt for Boussole (Compass).




Mathias Enard’s Compass (Boussole), his eighth novel and the winner of the 2015 Goncourt prize, records the thoughts of the narrator, Franz Ritter,  as he passes  through a sleepless night in Vienna. Ritter is a musicologist who is a specialist in the music of the Orient.  Ritter, whose mind seems to encompass an entire cultural history, alternates between fevers, memories and opium dreams.  In fragments, Ritter relives his many trips to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, Palmyra  and Tehran.  The book is also a celebration of Ritter’s romance with Sarah, a scholar who studies the attraction of the Orient on various adventurers.  

In the twilit melancholy of this novel (Ritter has just received a frightening medical diagnosis), Ritter displays a staggering erudition.  In fact, Enard’s brilliant book revels in the deep cultural knowledge most novelists only hint at our generalize about; Enard, by contrast, assumes his reader is as intelligent and as informed as he is. The fevered knowledge represented in Compass embraces centuries, a vast cast of characters and many lands; it is the frail bridge between two imperilled cultures.


2017 xi edition finalists 


Yiyun Li 2.jpg


László Krasznahorkai is considered one of the most important living Hungarian writers; his style has been compared to Kafka and Beckett.  He was born in Gyula, Hungary, in 1954, and worked for some years as an editor until 1984, when he became a freelance writer. He has written five novels of which two have been translated into Italian: Satantango and Melancholia. Among his many prizes are the Best Book of the Year Award in Germany for The Melancholy of Resistance, the 2013 Best Translated Book Award in Fiction for Satantango and the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. Several of his works have been turned into feature films by Hungarian film director Béla Tarr. 


Édouard Louis, born Eddy Bellegueule, was born and raised in the town of Hallencourt in the North of France, which is the setting of his first novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule. The book was the subject of extensive media attention and was hailed for its literary merit and compelling story. The book also gave rise to debate and controversy over the perception of the working class. It was a bestseller in France and has been translated to over 20 languages. In 2016, Louis published his second novel, Story of Violence. In recounting the story of his rape and attempted murder on Christmas Eve of 2012, the autobiographical novel centers on the cyclical and self-perpetuating nature of violence in society.


Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983. Granta published her first novel, Faces in the Crowd, in 2012, and her collection of essays, Sidewalks, in 2013. Her second novel, The Story of My Teeth, is forthcoming from Granta. She has been named as one of the 20 best Mexican writers under 40 received a National Book Foundation '5 under 35' award. Her style of exhilerating irreverance shows kinship with writers as diverse as Pound, Benjamin and Vila Matas.



Clemens Meyer was born in 1977 in Halle an der Saale, then East Germany. Meyer won great attention for his first novel Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming), published in 2006; it received the Rheingau Literatur Preis and has been adapted into a feature film. His second book, Die Nacht, die Lichter (All the Lights, 2008), won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. Gewalten (Acts of Violence), his third book, was published in 2009 and his 2013 novel Im Stein (Bricks and Mortar) was included in the long list for the International Man Booker Prize.

PREMIO GREGOR VON REZZORI for the best translation of a work of foreign fiction


TERMINUS RADIOSO di Antoine Volodine (66thand2nd) Born in Milan, D'Elie lives and works in Rome. After studying Comparative Literature in Italy and France, she has been working for over ten years in the field of university publishing, which she left in 2001 to dedicate herself exclusively to French literary translation.
For twenty years she has collaborated with numerous Italian publishers including Bompiani, Rizzoli, Fazi, La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Carocci, Sossella, and lately with 66thand2nd. D'Elia has translated texts by Jean Hatzfeld, Eric Reinhardt, Antoine Volodine, Serge Halimi, and among classics, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Honoré de Balzac.
Over the last twelve years D'Elia has devoted herself to the translation and theatrical adaptation of contemporary French playwrights, including Philippe Minyana, Pierre Notte, Jean-Marie Besset, Eugène Durif, Rémy Devos, Guillaume Gallienne, Fabrice Melquiot, Xavier Duranger.
In 2011 D'Elia was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République française for her literary translations.