This year's NIKE Literature Prize has gone to Joanna Olczak-Ronikier for her novel "W OGRODZIE PAMIECI / IN THE GARDEN OF MEMORY", published by the Krakow-based ZNAK (SIGN) publishing house.
This year's NIKE Literature Prize has gone to Joanna Olczak-Ronikier for her novel W OGRODZIE PAMIECI / IN THE GARDEN OF MEMORY
, published by the Krakow-based ZNAK (SIGN) publishing house.
Joanna Olczak-Ronikier is a member of the famous Mortkowicz publishing family. Born in 1934, she has had significant achievements as a screen- and teleplay writer and authored Z BIEGIEM LAT, Z BIEGIEM DNI / AS THE YEARS GO BY, AS THE DAYS GO BY, a play for the stage directed by Andrzej Wajda
at Krakow's Old Theatre that was also turned into a television mini-series. Olczak-Ronikier was additionally one of the founder's of Krakow's famous "Cellar Under the Rams" cabaret ("Piwnica pod Baranami") and wrote a book under the same title as well as a biography titled PIOTR, about the Cellar's central figure, Piotr Skrzynecki
IN THE GARDEN OF MEMORY is a family saga in which the author rewinds to the middle of the 19th century, to the generation of her great grandfather, Viennese rabbi Eleazar Horowitz. In the novel, she describes the unusual lives of unusual characters in unusual times. Joanna Olczak-Ronikier's prize-winning novel is an engaging story of the assimilation of the Polish-Jewish intelligentsia over the past 150 years. "Joanna Olczak-Ronikier comes from an unusual family. We are lucky because its members have consistently produced historical memoirs, notes, and reflections. Thanks to the preservation of these records by subsequent generations and her own talent, she has created a remarkable novel. It evokes the entirety of our wild 20th century, replete with great hopes and the deepest of tragedies," Andrzej Wajda was quoted as saying.
In the run-up to the announcement of this year's winner, "Gazeta Wyborcza" daily conducted a survey among its readers titled "Komu NIKE?" (NIKE to Whom?). Olga Tokarczuk
emerged as the victor for her collection of stories titled GRA NA WIELU BEBENKACH / PLAYING MANY DRUMS
, which combines literary fiction and reality in a masterful way and seeks to persuade readers that the art of life consists of the art of finding joy in all that we do. This was the third time that "Gazeta Wyborcza" readers honored the young writer: Olga Tokarczuk won the survey in 1997 for her novel PRAWIEK I INNE CZASY / Prawiek and Other Times, and two years later for DOM DZIENNY, DOM NOCNY / Day House and Night House.
NIKE is a prize for the best book of the year published in Polish. It has been presented since 1997, always for a book published in the previous year. Award-winning books to date include Wieslaw Mysliwski's
WIDNOKRAG, Czeslaw Milosz's
PIESEK PRZYDROZNY, Stanislaw Baranczak's
CHIRURGICZNA PRECYZJA. ELEGIE I PIOSENKI Z LAT 1995-1997, Tadeusz Rozewicz's MATKA ODCHODZI
and Jerzy Plich's POD MOCNYM ANIOLEM
. Books are nominated for the award in May, and the seven finalists are chosen in September. The winner is announced on the same day the judges make their decision. The author of the winning book receives a cash prize and the Nike statuette, the work of sculptor Gustaw Zemla.
"As the winner of the Nike award's first edition, I would like to wish the award a long life in unchanged form. (...) The Nike award is a unique prize in all its aspects." (W. Mysliwski, "Gazeta Wyborcza").
"People thirst for a canon, they want to know what's worth reading. Readers receive a pointer as to what's worth their attention. They want a guide, and guides, or in this case - critics, are in short supply. (...) Readers trust that someone is keeping a lookout, choosing for them. In this terribly gaudy world, in the flood of media messages, they want to have a permanent point of reference. This is something the Nike award can give them." (M. Janion, "Gazeta Wyborcza").Fundacja Nagrody Literackiej Nike
ul. Choragwi Pancernej 80, 02-951 Warsaw
tel. (+48 22) 651 84 10
fax (+48 22) 651 84 14