On Tuesday, 12 October 2021, Barbora Hrínová received the Anasoft Litera Award for her debut, the short-stories collection Jednorožce (Unicorns), published by ASPEKT.
The winner was chosen out of 165 Slovak prose books by the 5-member committee consisting of the Czech author, literary historian, screenwriter and translator Radka Denemarková; poet, translator, film critic and theorist Mária Ferenčuhová; journalist and literary critic Patrik Garaj; the Polish literary researcher Rafał Majerek, and literary researcher Marta Součková.
„It was not easy to decide this year's winner. There were three equally strong books in the final round. The selection of the winner was informed by delicate details, especially a heightened authorial sensitivity as well as the potential to also heighten the sensitivity of readers," the committee said about the final decision.
Barbora Hrínová studied Dramaturgy and Screenwriting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava where she is currently teaching screenwriting. As a researcher, she concluded a residency in Georgia and she studied in California as a Fulbright fellow. She has worked on numerous TV series and programs, and prepared a number of documentaries and features for the Slovak Radio (RTVS) as well as for the Czech Radio. She said about the characters from her award-winning debut: "[They are] unicorns or eternal seekers. They are people who are in some way different, or they are viewed as different by others. However, they just want the same things everyone else wants: love, a relationship, to be accepted or understood."
"Things that are invisible or often considered marginal and unimportant get central attention in Barbora Hrínová's book Jednorožce,“ said the committee. "Hrínová shows us that fragility, which we tend to overlook, can have value. The sensitivity in her short stories is not presented as a failure, but rather as a basic attribute of humanity. Hrínová writes about otherness; she does not, however, exoticise or exploit it, and that's how she makes it possible for us to accept different life-styles or identity searches.“
The Anasoft Litera Award 2021 winner Barbora Hrínová received a prize of 10 000 Euro and also a physical prize created by designer Mia Čopíková, titled Najväčšia mágia je vždy ukrytá vo vnútri (The magic always hides inside). It is made out of leftover glass cuttings and mirrors. The layers are glued to one another in a way that resembles a book with its pages. Inside is the inscription Anasof litera 2021.
Aside from the main award, a Readers' Prize was awarded once again. This year, it went to Veronika Šikulová for her novel / non-novel Tremolo ostinato published by SLOVART. The book, with a title borrowed from music, is a freeflowing narrative about music, writing, relationships and family. "The written text is an occurance, sometimes it can be a hill, a terrible experience, a country without a map; diversions are metaphors, a shortcut can be a rhyme; sometimes it is a stretched-out foot that makes you want to stumble, and when you think you are lost, you have arrived at your destination." (quote from the short story Drozdy už maľujú vajká, page 229).
press release: Anasoft Litera