The literary award jury has selected the finalists from the 132 original prose books.
On Wednesday, March 9, on radio Devín ten books were announced; from those the winner of the 17th year of this Slovak literary award will be chosen.
The jury’s members Jana Cviková, Weronika Gogola, Tamara Janecová, Marián Andričík and Gabriel Gábor Csanda have read 132 prose books that met the criteria and were automatically nominated for the Anasoft litera award. They then selected the ten most interesting ones, which we present to you in alphabetical order:
Balla is the author of Medzi ruinami / Among the Ruins, a fragmentary novel about a small town full of bizarre characters. Vargová, a patient with a miserable past and an even worse present, writes letters to Felešlegi, a psychiatrist who urgently needs help himself, because he dedicates himself to drinking rather than treating the sick.
Pod slnkom Turína / Under the Sun of Turin, the book of the multiple finalist of the Anasoft Prize and laureate of the European Union Prize for Literature 2019, Ivana Dobrakovová, tells us a story about infidelity with hidden unsuspected risks. In the February magazine Knižná revue, you will find a review by Viliam Nádaskay where he states, among other things: "Dobrakovová brings such a precise and uncompromising insight into Kristína's world, that the reader feels battered in the very end. It could turn out to be like flogging a dead horse (as they say in English); however, the author can penetrate through the surface of banality, wobble the foundations on which beliefs about exemplary families, innocent children, responsible parents and pure love stand, questioning too much certainty in seemingly unquestionable values."
Another book in the top ten,Táto izba sa nedá zjesť / This Room Cannot Be Eaten, is the debut of the young author Nicol Hochholczerová, who won awards for her prose work in the literary competitions Poviedka, Medziriadky and Literárny Kežmarok.
Ivan Medeši is the laureate of the Anasoft litera award for the book Jedenie / Eating, and his next work, Vilkovia / Willies, reached the top ten list this year. It is a dystopic vision of an author who lives and works in the lowland village called Ruský Kerestúr, the cultural metropolis of the small diaspora of the Vojvodina Rusnaks.
Jana Micenková's novel Krv je len voda / Blood Is Just Water is an analysis of the decomposition of a dysfunctional family, and at the same time it tries to trace the sources of violence. "The prose Krv je len voda will not allow the reader to breathe. However, it does not do it cunningly, nor rely on sloppy compassion, and although the characters are moving towards a certain model (e. g. the mother character may resemble Eva Nová), the author works with fatality and impossibility of change (of one’s character) - happyend is impossible from the beginning,” says Mária Klapáková in the book review.
Another nominated debut is Lukáš Onderčanin's book Utópia v Leninovej záhrade / Utopia in Lenin's Garden. In this documentary novel, the author maps the history of the Interhelpo cooperative, which was established in Kyrgyzstan to help build the Soviet Union. Through the stories of real people, he composes a mosaic of the existence of the Czechoslovak Commune in Central Asia, which experienced a period of difficult beginnings, flourishing, small and large uprisings, as well as definitive disintegration between 1925 and 1945.
Stanislav Rakús, the laureate of the award in 2010, is applying again with his other book Ľútostivosť / Regretfulness. "The book Ľútostivosť by Stanislav Rakús is not focused on mental deviations as it may seem, on the contrary, it focuses on mental balance as an essential human need," writes Ingrid Hrubaničová.
Zjedol som Lautreca / I’ve Eaten Lautrec is a fictional autobiography of a young man born in 1994. He talks about his adolescence, which is dominated by a strange relationship with his mother. The author of this novel, Vanda Rozenbergová, is a multiple finalist of the Anasoft litera award.
The ninth book is Zlodej / The Thief by Arpád Soltész. The fourth novel by a Slovak journalist and writer takes place again in the turbulent 90s and in the same setting as his previous novels Mäso / Flesh a Hnev / Anger. This time, the author brings a story from the point of view of one of the characters and reveals to the reader the mental world of bigger and smaller thieves.
After three books set in an African setting, Marek Vadas returned home to be inspired by a historical event and looked at the pogrom scene through the eyes of direct or indirect victims, witnesses and perpetrators. On our website you can find the review of the book Šesť cudzincov / Six Strangers by Gabriela Rakúsová and Daniel Domorák: "Vadas uncompromisingly deprives an old event of its original meaning in order to make it a new, exceptional event of its time, capable of expressing the past as well as themes that irritate the society today."
More information can be found directly on the Anasoft litera award website (in Slovak). A recording of the announcement (in Slovak) can be found on the website of Radio Devín.