Prize for the best debut book

20 November 2014 | In the news

jugoThe Helsingin Sanomat literature prize for the best first work, written in Finnish, for 2014 was awarded on 13 November to Kosovo-born Pajtim Statovci, 24, for his novel Kissani Jugoslavia (‘Yugoslavia my cat’, Otava – see translated extracts here).

The choice was made by a five-strong jury from a total of 65 books. The prize, which was this year awarded for the 20th time, is worth €15,000.

Among the ten finalists were a collection of essays, three collections of poetry and six novels. According to the jury, Statovci’s novel, ‘drowns the reader, after a realistic description of events, in a dreamlike, lyrical vision. This kind of writing is not taught anywhere. The skill either resides in the writer or it doesn’t.’