Ukrainian Writer Wins Central European Literary Award
Kyiv, October 21, 2013. Famous Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko has won a prestigious Central European literary award Angelus for her 2009 novel Muzei Pokynutykh Sekretiv (The Museum of Abandoned Secrets). The novel has already been translated in a few European languages, some labelled it the literary event of the year, and select critics compared the work with those of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Thomas Mann (referring to Zabuzhko’s piece as Ukrainian Buddenbrooks).
“We decided to give this award for the book that weaves into one history and modernity, the book that features magic, love, betrayal, and death,” commented the 2013 winner Natalia Gorbaniewska, head of the Angelus jury. “I’m speechless. Now I know why Hollywood stars cry when they get an Oscar,” said Zabuzhko in her acceptance speech before thanking colleague Katarzyna Kotyńska, who translated the book into Polish.
The Museum of Abandoned Secrets is a story of journalist Daryna Hoshchynska investigating a series of historical events taking place on the territory of western Ukraine between 1940s and 2004. The story shows the lives, love, passions, and pain of three generations, reflecting the history of modern Ukraine. The book received the title of the book of 2010, as per Korrespondent.
The Museum of Abandoned Secrets is Zabuzhko’s third novel. She released her first successful prose work in 1996. The novel entitled Poliovi Doslidzennia z Ukrayinskoho Seksu (Field Work in Ukrainian Sex) made Zabuzhko the most read Ukrainian-language writer. It was reprinted 10 times and translated in 11 languages. The book is considered the first feminist literary work in modern Ukrainian literature. It explores feminine identity, as well as Ukrainian identity as a whole. Zabuzhko, 53, writes prose, poetry, philosophy works, and articles. Her literary style is often defined as postmodern.
Angelus is a literary award, established in 2006. Its hometown Wroclaw hosts the annual award ceremony, in which a writer from one of the 21 eligible for the award Central and Eastern European countries gets the Angelus statuette and the money prize (PLN 150,000 [nearly USD 50,000 – ed.] in 2013). Previously, only one Ukrainian writer received an Angelus award – Yuri Andrukhovych (in 2006).