1 October 2010 Jacek Dukaj among seven Angelus award finalists

The list of semi-finalists in the fifth edition of the Angelus Central European Literary Awards is now known. The international jury under the guidance of the Russian poet, Natalya Yevgenyevna Gorbanevskaya, decided that the following books will go on to the next stage of the competition: Achtung! Banditen! by Wojciech Albiński, Ostatni raport (Final Report) by Zbigniew Kruszyński, Godot i jego cień (Godot and His Shadow) by Antoni Libera, Powrót chuligana (Return of the Hooligan) by Norman Manea, Fortepian we mgle (Piano in the Fog) by Eginald Schlattner, Mesjasze (Messiahs) by György Spiró and Wroniec (The Crow) by the guest of this year’s guest of the Joseph Conrad Literature Festival – Jacek Dukaj.

Wroniec is a fairy tale of the period of martial law in Poland as seen through the eyes of a child. Little Adaś sets off in search of his parents, kidnapped by the devious, black Wroniec (the Crow, and allusion to an acronym for a communist-era paramilitary organization). He is aided by the mighty Mr. Beton, and in his travels he meets Milipants (from Milicjant, or Militiaman, the Communist police), Bubeks (a reference to secret policemen), Suki (police cars), GAZ (gas, a reference to tea gas), gentlemen from the resistance, and a whole procession of characters and phenomena metamorphasized and mythologized by the imagination of a child. The author himself says. “Wroniec is similar to Lewis Caroll’s Alice, but that, too is misleading. It came out as something of a black national phantasmagoria in the form of a children’s story. The book is colourfully illustrated by Jakub Jabłoński.

To date, the award – a check for 150,000 PLN and a statuette designed by Ewa Rossano – has been presented to Yuri Andrukhovych (who will also be a guest of the festival), Martin Pollack, Péter Esterháza and Josef Škvorecký.

The laureate of this year’s edition will be announced on 4 December at the ceremonial gala in the Capitol Theatre. And on 6 November, at the Conrad Festival, Jacek Dukaj will take part in the discussion Literatura i nowe media (Literature and New Media) along with Inga Iwasiów and Jarosław Lipszyc.