International Literature Award 2020 by HKW goes to German translation of "Lucky Breaks"

On 4th of June 2020 the German translation of Lucky Breaks (Glückliche Fälle) has received the International Literature Award 2020 of Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) and the Stiftung Elementarteilchen.

Since 2009, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) and the Stiftung Elementarteilchen have been awarding the Internationaler Literaturpreis (ILP), honoring an outstanding work of contemporary international literature and its first translation into German.

Normally, the winning duo for the best novel and the best translation are honored with a major celebration to which all other authors and translators of the books nominated for the final round are invited. But this year, the 12th in which the award has been given, is entirely different. The Haus der Welt der Kulturen (HKW), together with the seven-member jury, decided not to honor a single book in this year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, but rather, all six titles on the shortlist. The award-winning books were announced in a special June 4 program on public broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur. 

Among the winners is the book Glückliche Fälle (not translated in English yet, literal translation: Lucky Breaks)

"I believe that you can't believe in anything for good. It's no use trying." It's the lives of largely unruly women living between Kiev and the Donbass region of Ukraine that Yevgenia Belorusets depicts in her book of portraits.

The 40-year-old photographer, artist and writer, who lives alternately in Ukraine and Berlin, has spoken with such women forgotten by history during several research trips. Her portraits of florists, sisters and customers in a beauty salon are, however, not documentary, but literarily condensed and contrasted with photographs.

Yevgenia Belorusets: Glückliche Fälle, translated from Russian by Claudia Dathe, Matthes & Seitz Publishing, 2019


International Literature Award honors 6 books [ENG], Deutsche Welle, 04.06.2022