Prix Jan Michalski:
Edition 2022 Previous editions Rules
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The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is awarded annually for an outstanding work of world literature.

The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature has been awarded annually since 2010 by the Foundation to crown a work of world literature. An original feature of the Prize is its multicultural nature: it rewards works of all literary genres, fiction or non-fiction, irrespective of the language in which it is written.

The rotating jury, which is renewed every three years, is made up of writers recognized for their linguistic skills and their openness to literary diversity. An artist with an interest in literature is also given a seat.

The laureate is honored with a prize of CHF 50,000, which allows him/her to devote more time to his/her writing. He or she also receives a work of art specially chosen for him or her.

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The first selection of the 2022 edition will be online on 25 March.

Jury

Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, President of the jury

The publisher Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, born in 1954, who has always been committed to promoting literature and the written word, founded the publishing group Libella with Jan Michalski. Since 1986, numerous authors have been brought out in French, Polish and  English at various publishing houses, including Noir sur Blanc, Buchet-Chastel, Phébus, Wydawnictwo Literackie, and World Editions. In 2004 Vera Michalski created the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature, whose mission is to foster literary creation and encourage the practice of reading through a range of initiatives and activities.

Jonathan Coe

Né en 1961 à Birmingham, Jonathan Coe est un romancier et biographe britannique. Après des études à la King Edward’s School puis au Trinity College, il obtient un doctorat en littérature anglaise et enseigne à l’Université de Warwick. Il acquiert une renommée internationale grâce à son quatrième roman, Testament à l’anglaise (Gallimard, 1995) pour lequel il remporte le Prix du Meilleur Livre étranger en 1996. La traduction française de son œuvre aux éditions Gallimard, plusieurs fois primée dans son pays d’origine, lui vaut le Prix Médicis étranger pour La maison du sommeil en 1998 et le Prix du livre européen pour Le cœur de l’Angleterre en 2019. En 2004, il est décoré de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.

Carsten Jensen

The writer and journalist Carsten Jensen was born in 1952 in Marstal (Denmark). After graduating from the University of Copenhagen with a master’s degree in literature, Jensen started writing for the daily Politiken and became a regular contributor to a number of titles in the Danish press. In 1997 he received the Danish booksellers’ Golden Laurel Award for his travel book Jeg har set verden begynde. In 2001 he began teaching at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Odense. His first novel, Vi, de druknede (We, the Drowned), published in 2009, enjoyed great critical and popular success and earned him the prestigious Danske Banks Litteraturpris while the French translation of the book took the Prix Gens de mer at the Étonnants Voyageurs (Amazing Travelers) Festival of Saint-Malo. In 2010 Jensen was awarded Olof Palme Prize. His monumental novel Den første sten (The First Stone) about a group of Danish soldiers who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan was published in 2015. His work has been translated in some twenty countries. 

Kapka Kassabova

Né en 1961 à Birmingham, Jonathan Coe est un romancier et biographe britannique. Après des études à la King Edward’s School puis au Trinity College, il obtient un doctorat en littérature anglaise et enseigne à l’Université de Warwick. Il acquiert une renommée internationale grâce à son quatrième roman, Testament à l’anglaise (Gallimard, 1995) pour lequel il remporte le Prix du Meilleur Livre étranger en 1996. La traduction française de son œuvre aux éditions Gallimard, plusieurs fois primée dans son pays d’origine, lui vaut le Prix Médicis étranger pour La maison du sommeil en 1998 et le Prix du livre européen pour Le cœur de l’Angleterre en 2019. En 2004, il est décoré de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France.

Valérie Mréjen

Née en 1969 à Paris, Valérie Mréjen est une romancière, plasticienne, réalisatrice et vidéaste française. Diplômée de l’École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy-Pontoise en 1994, elle édite des livres d’artiste avant de se lancer dans le domaine de la production audiovisuelle. Elle réalise plusieurs courts métrages et documentaires, tels que Pork and Milk (2004) et Valvert (2008), ainsi que le long métrage de fiction En ville avec Bertrand Schefer en 2011, sélectionné la même année à la Quinzaine des réalisateurs à Cannes. Elle publie Mon grand-père (1999), L’agrume (2001) et Eau sauvage (2004) aux éditions Allia, puis Forêt noire (2012) et Troisième personne (2017) aux éditions P.O.L. Ses œuvres d’art sont exposées en France et à l’étranger, notamment au Jeu de Paume qui lui consacre une exposition monographique en 2008.

Anne Nivat

Née en 1969, Anne Nivat est une journaliste française, écrivaine et reporter de guerre. Spécialisée dans les zones sensibles comme l’Irak, la Tchétchénie et l’Afghanistan, elle est l’auteure de nombreuses publications chez Fayard, dont Chienne de guerre (2000), qui lui a valu le prestigieux Prix Albert Londres, Islamistes : comment ils nous voient (2006), Les brouillards de la guerre : dernière mission en Afghanistan (2011), La république juive de Staline (2013) ou Dans quelle France on vit (2017). Elle a notamment été correspondante à l’international pour de nombreux journaux tels que Libération, Le Point, International Herald Tribune, New York Times ou The Washington Post. Spécialiste de la Russie, elle publie Un continent derrière Poutine (Seuil, 2018). La France de face, son livre qui vient de sortir chez Fayard, est une nouvelle enquête menée au cœur des préoccupations des Français.

Rules

In accordance with article two of the statutes of the Jan Michalski Foundation for Literature and the Written Word (hereafter the Jan Michalski Foundation), the Foundation Board decided to create a literary prize called the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature (hereafter the Jan Michalski Prize).

The Jan Michalski Prize was officially established on 27 October 2009.

Article 1 — The Jan Michalski Prize

The Jan Michalski Prize will be awarded to a work of world literature in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, or illustrated books.

Article 1.1 — Criteria for awarding the Jan Michalski Prize

The Jan Michalski Prize is awarded to one book annually. The prize is not limited to any one language in particular.

Article 1.2 — Frequency of the prize

The Jan Michalski Prize is awarded once a year.

Article 1.3 — What winners of the Jan Michalski Prize receive

The winner of the prize receives CHF 50,000 (fifty thousand Swiss francs), a diploma, and a work of art especially selected for the Jan Michalski Prize.

Collective works are also eligible for consideration by the Prize Committee; if a book by several authors wins, the Jan Michalski Prize is awarded to all of them and the sum of CHF 50,000 is divided among the various winners.

Article 1.4 — When the prize is awarded

The Jan Michalski Prize is normally awarded each year in November during a ceremony in Montricher.

Article 2 — The Prize Committee

Article 2.1 — Committee members

The Jan Michalski Prize is awarded by the Jan Michalski Foundation for Literature and the Written Word. The prize winner is selected by an international committee of writers. One seat on the committee is reserved for an artist who has also shown a sincere interest in literature. Vera Michalski, who chairs the Foundation Board, is the lifetime Chairwoman of the Prize Committee.

Article 2.2 — Selection of the committee members

The Chairwoman of the Prize Committee appoints the other members of the committee. Membership on the committee is strictly honorary, that is, no payment attaches to the post. Members serve for three years. The Foundation Board, however, does reserve the right to reduce the term of individual committee members. At the end of the members’ term, the Foundation Board is free to either reappoint the same members or appoint new ones.

The Prize Committee is made up of well-known figures from a range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds who are at ease in two or more languages and widely recognized in any of the forms of literary and artistic expression.

Members sit on the Prize Committee in their own name and represent no interest group or commercial entity.

The Chairwoman of the Jan Michalski Foundation Board will write to each person appointed to the Prize Committee to confirm their appointment. Before serving, committee members will of course acquaint themselves with the present Rules.

Article 3 — Proposing candidates

Article 3.1 — Terms and conditions for participation

Only books published and printed by publishing houses are admissible. Manuscripts and self-published works are not accepted. Books must have been published within five years prior to attribution of the Jan Michalski Prize. Reeditions are not accepted unless the book in question has been significantly revised by the original author.

Members of the Prize Committee alone are authorized to propose books for consideration, with a maximum of two proposals per member.

Article 3.2 — Closing date

Submissions must be made by 1 March of each year. The shortlist of books competing for the Jan Michalski Prize is published on the foundation’s website.

Article 4 — Prize committee delibérations

The Members of the Prize Committee deliberate in complete freedom and independence, and, apart from the present rules, receive instructions from no one. Their deliberations are secret and the minutes of their meetings are not published.

Decisions are taken by simple majority but at least three-quarters of the committee members must participate in the vote for the deliberations to be valid.

The Prize Committee meets once initially to draw up a shortlist. At the end of that meeting, the committee decides on a limited number of books for final consideration. If need be, excerpts from proposed books are translated into a language that is accessible to all of the committee’s members.

The winner of the prize is announced during the committee’s concluding session. The committee’s decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Article 5 — Final provisions

Article 5.1 — Amendments to the rules

The rules can be revised at any time by the Foundation Board, except for the provision concerning the lifetime membership of the Chairwoman of the Prize Committee.

Article 5.2 — Announcing the prize winner

The results of the committee’s deliberations will be made public through the usual media. Only authors whose works have been shortlisted will be notified.