STA, 31 May 2021 - Gašper Kralj, a 47-year-old writer and translator, has won the Cankar Prize for the best original literature published over the past year. He was awarded for his novel Škrbine (Stubs), a "story about unwritten stories".
The novel's hero sets out to write a story about his grandmother, of whom there are hardly any traces in the archives of the institutions she worked at.
He records bits of his and his grandmother's lives on pieces of paper, stubs that are read by a woman who tries to edit them into a possible story.
The award jury said the novel is a "convincing introspection" about the limitations and possibilities of putting into words bits of life that cannot be converted into a finished story.
The EUR 5,000 Cankar Prize, a tribute to the writer Ivan Cankar (1876-1918), is awarded annually for the best original literary work of the past year, published as an individual book in Slovenian language.
The award-winning work can be from any area of Cankar's creative opus (a poetry collection, a novel, a drama, a collection of short stories or essays).
It was established in 2019 by Slovenian PEN, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU), the SAZU Research Centre, and the University of Ljubljana.
The first recipient, declared last year, was Sebastijan Pregl for the novel V Elvisovi Sobi (In Elvis's Room), a novel about a generation which was growing up when the former Yugoslavia was slowly disintegrating.