Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow to receive Heinrich Böll Prize

Written by on May 27, 2017 in People - Comments Off on Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow to receive Heinrich Böll Prize

The Bulgarian author Ilija Trojanow will receive this year’s Heinrich Böll Prize. The jury said, hardly any other author pursued Böll’s political engagement in a persistent and literary ambitious way like Trojanow.

The Heinrich Böll Prize is being given out on a yearly basis by the city of Cologne. On November 24, 2017, it will be awarded to Trojanow, who fled communist Bulgaria with his family in 1971. In his first novel, he included his family’s experience when they were refugees, back then.

In his latest book, Trojanow writes, “escape does have a lifelong effect”. He has lived in Kenya and South Africa, while today he is based in Vienna. After publishing his novel “The Collector of Worlds” (German original: “Der Weltensammler”), he became famous all over the world.

Trojanow’s books are based on a lot of research. For one of them, he travelled to Antarctica. For another book entitled “Macht und Widerstand” (“Power and Resistance”), he collected statements from survivors or Bulgarian Gulags. This took him 15 years.

His latest novel “Nach der Flucht” (“After the Escape”) is based on Trojanow’s biography. In an interview with the Swiss publication Berner Zeitung, Trojanow said, it had been about time he approved his parent’s decision to flee Bulgaria, something he called a gift. By fleeing his birth country, he had become more free and independent, the author stated.

 

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Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.