Today, the nominees for Witold Gombrowicz Literary Prize were announced. It’s an award for the best debut or second prose book that was published the year before. The winner will get 40,000PLN and a monthly vacation in Vence, where Witold Gombrowicz spend the last years of his life.
Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969) was a Polish novelist, playwright and diarist, nominated for Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966. He is commemorated by the Witold Gombrowicz Museum in Wsola. In 2016, the museum established an award for debuting authors. This year, the jury chose the 5 best works out of 97 applications. Those books are:
- Rafał Hetman – “Izbica, Izbica” – a reportage about a village Izbica, where lived many Jews before being displaced and lost to Holocaust.
- Robert Nowakowski – “Ojczyzna jabłek” (“The Homeland of Apples” – literary fiction about Jelko Rabik, a Boyko man dealing with love and post-World War II reality in Poland.
- Mateusz Pakuła – “Jak nie zabiłem swojego ojca i jak bardzo tego żałuję” (“How I Didn’t Kill My Father and How Much I Regret It”) – autobiographical story about euthanasia and author’s terminally ill father.
- Barbara Woźniak – “Niejedno” (“Not just one”) – literary fiction about a professor of medical ethics who prepares an elective course about medical care in Nazi Germany.
- Aleksandra Zbroja – “Mireczek. Patoopowieść o moim ojcu” (“Mireczek. Pato-story About My Father”) – an autobiographical novel about Zbroja’s alcoholic father.
“It seems like this year was dominated with books about the trauma caused by family members,” summed up professor Ewa Graczyk, a member of the chapter house of the award. Zofia Król adds: “It’s never easy to choose those 5 [best] books. But I’m convinced that this year we’re all very satisfied with the picks”.
The winner will be revealed in September, during a literary festival “Opętani Literaturą” (“Wrapped in Literature”). Every nominee will get 5,000PLN, the winner 40,000PLN and one of the authors will get a sponsored one-month vacation in Vence.