Romanian writer Claudiu M. Florian has been awarded the European Union Prize for literature 2016. He was awarded for the book called “The Ages of the game. Citadel street (Varstele jocului. Strada cetatii).
The book tells the story of a German-Romanian family who lives near Brasov, Romania in 1973. Their grandparents moved to the United States for work and their descendants now want to emigrate to Germany.
The story is told from a young boy’s perspective which provides an analysis of the family around him, of their relatives living in Germany, uncles, aunts and neighbours, it involves stories and opinions about the Free Europe radio broadcast, Nicolae Ceausescu and contemporary history.
European commission representative Tibor Navracsics stated ” I congratulate all the winners of the 2016 edition. The literature and the possibility of writing in complete freedom allow us to understand each other and to live better, things that are now more important than ever. This is the reason why we will continue to support the translation, publication, selling and reading of foreign literature.”
This year 12 European authors have received the EU prize for literature: Christophe Van Gerrewey (Belgium), Tanja Stupar-Trifunović (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Antonis Georgiou (Cyprus), Bjørn Rasmussen (Denmark), Paavo Matsin (Estonia), Selja Ahava (Finland), Nenad Joldeski (FYROM), Benedict Wells (Germany), Gast Groeber (Luxemburg), Jasmin B. Frelih (Slovenia) and Jesús Carrasco (Spain).
Here is an excerpt from The Ages of the Game – Citadel Street by Claudiu M. Florian
“We are here. But we are not alone – and here is not the only place in the world. Indeed, the sky ends up in the woods behind the citadel, beyond the valley and far away, among the hills to the left and the right, but everything it covers here is itself just a part of several ways-to-be. Because there are at least another two places in the world. Or maybe three.
One is Jibert, where great-grandfather Otata lives. From the top of the citadel, only the peaks of the surrounding hills can be seen, and one gets there only by bus. People there speak Saxon all the time, a language that some cannot understand here, and they walk mostly on the earth and take the earth along, because the streets are all earthen there, paved with cobblestones only in front of the houses, while in the fields preceding the village outskirts they lean broodily over the earth and either pinch it, or knead it with their long-handled tools. A bus full of people rattles off towards the earth in Jibert every day, eases out a couple of them when it gets there, and then, after several hours, it drives back from the opposite direction to gather up and bring back some others, who every now and then are the same ones from the outgoing trip, namely Grandma and me. The bus takes us there, to the many relatives and kinsfolk living together in that village, then brings us back to Grandpa.”