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The Baltic Assembly Prize in Literature was awarded to Estonian writer Vahur Afanasjev for his novel “Serafima and Bogdan” (“Serafima ja Bogdan”).

The Jury noted that the story of Serafima and Bogdan paints a vivid picture of the characters’ exceptional world: the villages, lifestyle, religion and language of the Old Believers. “It is partly a fairy-tale, and partly an ethnographic portrayal of a community rich in traditions and history. Afanasjev’s mastery of style, detailed descriptions and metaphors make different feelings and actions clear to the reader. He pays special and acute attention to environment and details,” the materials of the Jury underline.

Head of the Estonian Delegation to the Baltic Assembly Aadu Must emphasised that in the Baltic cultural space, it was important to know the literature and culture life of one’s neighbours and to cooperate closely in this field as well. “The novel “Serafima and Bogdan” by Vahur Afanasjev, who unfortunately passed away young this year, is a pearl on the cultural landscape of our country, and as the history of our countries is similar, this book should also have a place on the reading table of our southern neighbours. We hope that it will soon be translated into Latvian and Lithuanian,” Must said.

The BA Prize in the Arts was awarded to Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece (Latvia), and the BA Prize in Science was awarded to Virginijus Šikšnys (Lithuania).

The Prize consists of a monetary prize, a certificate and a statuette, which are presented every year at the Baltic Assembly session. This year, the prize ceremony will be held in Vilnius on 4 November.

The members of the Joint Jury of the BA Prizes were outstanding specialists in the fields of literature, the arts and science from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia: Valdemaras Razumas, Erika Drungytė, Petras Skirmantas, Rimantas Jankauskas, Bārbala Simsone, Diāna Lagūna, Guna Zeltiņa, Triin Soone, Piret Tibbo-Hudgins and Marika Mänd.

The Baltic Assembly has been awarding the Prizes in literature, the arts and science since 1994. The aim of the prizes is to promote outstanding achievements and to support the development of these fields in the Baltic States. Creation of opportunities to learn about the achievements of neighbouring countries, demonstrating the mutual interest of the countries in this region to uphold their national identity and self-esteem, and supporting outstanding achievements in literature, the arts and science strengthens the cooperation between the Baltic States and encourages people’s interest in the intellectual values and languages of the Baltic nations.

Riigikogu Press Service
Veiko Pesur
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