Books from Fitzcarraldo Editions, Tilted Axis Press and Peirene Press have been shortlisted for the €20,000 EBRD Literature Prize.
Soviet Milk (Peirene Press) by Nora Ikstena, translated from Latvian by Margita Gaelitisis in the running, along with The Devil’s Dance (Tilted Axis) by Hamid Ismailov, translated from Uzbek by Donald Rayfield with John Farndon and Drive Your Plough (Fitzcarraldo) by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.
The award, run by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), celebrates the best in translated literature from the almost 40 economies where the Bank invests, from Morocco to Mongolia, and from Estonia to Egypt.
The winner will receive the top prize of €20,000, split evenly between the author and the translator, and the two runner-up titles will receive €2,000, similarly divided.
Chair of the judges Rosie Goldsmith said: “With The Devil’s Dance, Drive Your Plough and Soviet Milk you have three bold and beautiful works of fiction which represent the world of literature today. As judges, choosing three from our perfect and popular Longlist of ten felt like a betrayal, but in these three novels, spanning eastern Europe, the Baltics and Central Asia, you have a wide world distilled - and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
“Each novel is wonderfully different but they all share the ability to reflect their own culture as well as telling universal stories to touch us all. We hope passionately that the EBRD Literature Prize can also help promote them and literature in translation here in the UK.”
Colm Lincoln, deputy secretary general of the EBRD, said: "The panel has selected truly outstanding examples of literary fiction which represent the diversity of culture and uniqueness of countries where the EBRD invests."
Fellow judges included writer Gabriel Gbadamosi, head of literature and spoken word at the Southbank Centre Ted Hodgkinson and Samantha Schnee, founding editor of international magazine Words Without Borders.
The winner will be announced on7th March 2019.