Polish novel nominated for EBRD Literature Prize

„The King of Warsaw” by Polish writer Szczepan Twardoch is among ten books nominated for the Literature Prize of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Szczepan Twardoch.

Szczepan Twardoch. Photo: PAP/Marcin Kaliński

Its English translation, by Sean Gasper Bye, was published by Amazon Crossing last year. It won rave reviews from international critics and literary journals, with the Kirkus Review describing it as “a wickedly enthralling novel by one of Poland’s emerging literary stars.”

The plot of The King of Warsaw is set shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Its main protagonist is boxer Jakub Szapiro, who is revered as a hero of the Jewish community in the Polish capital.

The book has been made into a television series directed by Jan P. Matuszyński.

The first edition of The King of Warsaw, published in Poland in 2016, has sold over 100,000 copies.

The EBRD Literature Prize has been awarded annually since 2018. In 2019, two Polish novels were nominated: Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead and Jacek Dehnel’s Lala, both in a translation by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.


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