• First Bulgarian-written book by Georgi Gospodinov ‘Time Shelter’ wins International Booker Prize 2023

    First Bulgarian-written book by Georgi Gospodinov ‘Time Shelter’ wins International Booker Prize 2023
    Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel, is the first novel published in Bulgarian to win...

    Digital Desk: On Tuesday, Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov and translator Angela Rodel were awarded the International Booker Prize for their darkly amusing novel 'Time Shelter,' on the fatal appeal of nostalgia.

    The novel defeated five other candidates for the prize, which honours translated fiction from around the world. The award money of 50,000 pounds ($62,000) is split between the author and the translator. The film 'Time Shelter' imagines a clinic that recreates the past, with each floor representing a different decade. It was intended to help those with dementia unlock their memories, but it quickly became a magnet for others looking to get away from the contemporary world.

    The judging panel was chaired by French novelist Leila Slimani, who described it as "a brilliant novel full of irony and melancholy. It's a very profound work that deals with a contemporary as well as a philosophical question: What happens to us when our memories fade?" she explained. 

    But it's also a great novel about Europe, a continent in desperate need of a future, where the past is reinvented and nostalgia can be poison." she added. Gospodinov is one of Bulgaria's most widely translated writers. Additionally, "Time Shelter" also received the Strega European Prize for Literature in Italian Translation in Italy.

    Every year, the International Booker Prize is given to a translated book of fiction published in the United Kingdom or Ireland. It runs simultaneously with the Booker Prize for English-language Literature, which will be awarded in the autumn.

    The prize was established to raise awareness of fiction in other languages, which accounts for a small proportion of novels produced in the United Kingdom, as well as to recognise the undervalued work of literary translators.