Text: Magdalena Gigova
Four of the six nominees for the Novel of the Year Prize arrived early for the recording of their video presentations at the Prof. Vasil Gerov Hall of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’. The videos will be shown a few minutes before the distinguished jury announces the author and the 2021 winning work. The award ceremony will be held on 11 May at the Peroto Literature Club before a limited circle of guests and media representatives.
The anti-epidemic measures also imposed a strict schedule so that the writers would not run into each other while being filmed by cameraman Tsvetan Ignatovski. They were asked to share, within two minutes, the most essential element of their novel to arouse the readers’ interest.
Georgi Gospodinov, nominated for his novel, ‘Time Shelter’, arrived so early that he had to wait in the small, pretty yard of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ while the cameraman was arranging his equipment in front of artist Nayden Petkov’s paintings. The writer already has experience in the Novel of the Year Competition: his book ‘The Physics of Sorrow’ was the 2013 prize winner.
The other early author had also decided in advance exactly what to say, and had even written down a few sentences. The ‘doyen’ of the nominees, Stefan Kospartov, presented his allegorical novel, ‘Pigeonland’.
The jury nominated Yanitsa for ‘Greetings from Hades’ and Vasil for ‘Shadow’. The two decided to wait for the other authors to exchange a few professional words and news, but it turned out that Georgi Tenev, the Askeer Award winner for the play ‘Return to Wittenberg’, had chosen to record his address at home and send it to NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’. He applied for the prize with his novel, ‘The Residence’.
Kerana Angelova had adopted the same approach; the author of ‘The Place Yantara’ sent her presentation by email.
The two ladies can boast about their previous successes in the same national contest of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’—they had been nominated for other works.
Most of the authors said they relied on the cameraman’s editing skills; however, they had all prepared so well that their speeches really ‘ran on wheels’.
Who will win the jury’s recognition will become clear on 11 May.
Photographs: Tsvetan Ignatovski