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Inaugural EBRD Literature Prize finalists announced

6th March 2018

Inaugural EBRD Literature Prize finalists announced


Three novels have been announced as the finalists of the first EBRD Literature Prize, a €20,000 award launched in 2017 by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in partnership with the British Council and the London Book Fair.

The three finalists are:

  • All the World’s a Stage by Boris Akunin, translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) 
  • Belladonna by Daša Drndic, translated from Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (Maclehose/ Quercus)
  • Istanbul Istanbul by Burhan Sönmez, translated from Turkish by Ümit Hussein (Telegram Books)


The EBRD is a multilateral development bank, created after the fall of the Berlin wall to help emerging economies move towards open markets. The Bank launched the prize in recognition of the vibrancy of its region’s literature, and encompasses literary fiction originally written in a language from one of the 37 economies where the Bank invests, translated into English and published by a UK publisher. 

Rosie Goldsmith, Chair of the Judges, said:
These three novels form a perfect trio of great craft, insight and originality. Belladonna is an unflinching but brilliant and beautiful novel of ideas. Istanbul Istanbul provides a witty, wonderful and wise window on the world and on our flawed humanity but without leaving the prison cell. And All The World’s A Stage is a thrillingly entertaining, informative and literary romp through Russian history. As judges we were unanimous. These are astonishingly good reads.

The winner will be announced in London at an award ceremony at EBRD headquarters at One Exchange Square, London, on 10 April 2018.

Find out more about the Prize on the EBRD website.

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