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Czech Republic: Prestigious literary award goes to book some commentators and Romani people find offensive

9.4.2017 15:27
The launch of the book BRNOX, a guidebook to the so-called Brno
The launch of the book BRNOX, a guidebook to the so-called Brno "Bronx", took place on 21 December 2016 in Brno. On the right is Kateřina Šedá, the author of the guidebook. (PHOTO: Jolana Halalová)

The 16th annual Magnesia Litera book award announced its winners last week. In the newly-revived category for journalism, the award has been given to the book called BRNOX, a guidebook to the neighborhood in Brno nicknamed the "Bronx" that purports to be about that socially excluded locality.

"This award belongs to the residents of the Bronx, not just to us, but to the many co-workers who contributed to it," author Kateřina Šedá said when accepting the award. "It's actually dedicated to that locality, because the aim of this little book was not to write a book that is super, but a book that will shake up the place and change it somehow."

"It might sound quite stupid, but I really fell in love with the Romani community there. This little book can be read in different ways, but for me it was terribly surprising what I found there, and I'm sorry that it has sparked the opposite reaction among some people," the author concluded, referrring to the fact that the book has been harshly criticized by some columnists and by Romani people themselves.

Magnesia Litera 2017 Book Awards

Book of the Year: Bianca Bellová: Jezero (publisher: Host)

Award for Prose: Marek Šindelka: Únava materiálu (publisher: Odeon)

Award for Poetry: Milan Ohnisko: Světlo v ráně (publisher: Druhé město)

Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature: Tomáš Končinský, Barbora Klárová: Překlep a Škraloup (publisher: Albatros)

Award for Educational Literature: Petr Roubal: Československé spartakiády (publisher: Academia)

Award for a Feat of Publishing: Adam Chroust: Miloslav Stingl – Biografie cestovatelské legendy (publisher: Jota)

Award for a book in translation: Sara Baume: Jasno lepo podstín zhyna (translate from English by Alice Hyrmanová McElveen, publisher: Odeon)

Award for journalism: Kateřina Šedá: Brnox (publisher: Kateřina Šedá)

DILIA Litera for Discovery of the Year: Ondřej Nezbeda: Průvodce smrtelníka (publisher: Paseka)

Kosmas Readers' Award: Markéta Zahradníková, Zbygniew Czendlik: Postel hospoda kostel (publisher: Argo)

Magnesia Blog of the Year: KKRD Boys: Brblanina

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Awards, Brno, Knihy, Literatura



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