The new English edition of Litvak writer Grigoriy Kanovich’s novel Очарованье сатаны (Jerusalem, 2002) titled Devilspel is in the running for a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s literature prize created especially for translated literature and worth 20,000 euros, according to publisher Noir Press.
The prize was instituted two years ago to underline the importance of translations of literature. There are 10 contenders this year, including works by Boris Akunin.
According to the publisher’s website: “Devilspel evokes the lost world of Lithuanian Jews during the Second World War. From the lives of Grigory Kanovich’s vividly drawn characters emerges a panorama of world events that shook eastern Europe and the world. The subtle art of Kanovich is his ability to create characters in the town of Mishkine, like the feisty Danuta Hadassah, the idealistic Elisheva and the complex and empathetic Catholic Cheslavas, who live within us long after the chronicle of their lives has ended. The book is more than a novel. Its story touches the heart and questions human and divine justice in a world gone mad.”
Six finalists–three writers and three translators–will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in London April 22. The €20,000 prize is to be divided equally between writer and translator. Two runners-up and their translators will also receive a prize of €1,000 each.