Francis Kirps, the Winner for Luxembourg 2020 European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL)

"The jury is delighted to announce that the European Union Prize for Literature for Luxembourg is awarded to Francis Kirps for his work Die Mutationen. 7 Erzählungen und ein Gedicht (Hydre Éditions, 2019).

Die Mutationen. 7 Geschichten & 1 Gedicht by Francis Kirps is a collection of seven short stories and a poem written in German, with one story featuring passages written in Luxembourgish. The title-giving ‘mutations’ are programmatic in two major regards: thematically, as the stories cast moments and instances of transformation of the characters as central to the plot and conceptually, as each story is in fact a rewriting of a preexisting text from European literature. Under the precise and often humorous pen of Francis Kirps, texts by Virginia Woolf, Kurt Tucholsky, Franz Kafka, Propser Mérimée, Heinrich von Kleist, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Ingeborg Bachmann as well as the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood are revisited. The jury was particularly impressed by the skillful intertextual weavings, the transplantation of plots and characters and their recasting in new unprecedented ways. While an awareness of the pretexts undoubtedly heightens the pleasure of reading, Kirps’ stories manage to stand on their own however as they are entirely carried by a carefully crafted and powerful authorial voice and by the exceptional strength of Kirps’ imaginative power.

The jury is composed of Jeanne E. Glesener (president – University of Luxembourg), Jean Back (author), Claude D. Conter (Centre national de littérature), Jean-Claude Henkes (Librairie Ernster) and Jérôme Jaminet (literary critic)."


The 47 authors and books from 13 participating countries were nominated for the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature.

2020 shortlist for the European Union Prize for Literature (the list below is in alphabetical order):   



Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Adnan Repeša, Svojta (Taxa),
  • Danijel Gatarić, Libreto (Libretto)
  • Elvedin Nezirović, Ništa lakše od umiranja (Nothing easier than dying)
  • Lana Bastašić, Uhvati zeca (Catch the rabbit)



  • Kristina Gavran, Gitara od palisandra (The rosewood guitar)
  • Maša Kolanović, Poštovani kukci i druge jezive priče (Dear beetles and other scary stories)
  • Nenad Stipanić, Bogovi neona (Neon Gods)
  • Zoran Malkoč, Umro Supermen (Superman is dead)



  • Κυθρεώτης Χρίστος (Christos Kithreotis), Εκεί που ζούμε (The place we live)
  • Σωτηρίου Κωνσταντία (Constandia Sotiriou), Πικρία χώρα (Bitter country)
  • Σταύρος Χριστοδούλου (Stavros Christodoulou), Τη μέρα που πάγωσε ο ποταμός (The day the river froze)



  • Asta Olivia Nordentoft, Penge på lommen (Money in your pocket),
  • Maren Uthaug, En lykkelig slutning (A happy ending)
  • Morten Pape, Guds Bedste Børn (God's Best Children)
  • Thomas Korsgaard, Tyverier (Thefts)



  • Kaur Riismaa, Väike Ferdinand (Little Ferdinand)
  • Mait Vaik, Kurvake sügis (Sad autumn)
  • Mudlum (Made Luiga), Poola poisid (Polish boys)



  • Gunther Geltinger, Benzin (Petrol)
  • Leif Randt, Allegro Pastell (Allegro Pastel)
  • Matthias Nawrat, Der traurige Gast (The Sad Guest)
  • Paulina Czienskowski, Taubenleben (Pigeon life)
  • Peggy Mädler, Wohin wir gehen (Where we are going)



  • Azem Deliu, Shënimet e krimbit Smolinski (Notes of the Worm Smolinsky)
  • Majlinda Bregasi, Gërsheti  prerë (The Cut Braid)
  • Shpëtim Selmani, Libërthi i dashurisë (The Booklet of Love)





  • Milo Masoničić, Kraj smjene (The End of the shift)
  • Stefan Bošković, Ministar (Minister)


North Macedonia

  • Давор Стојановски (Davor Stojanovski), Утеха за голите (Consolation for the naked)
  • Ѓорѓи Крстевски (Gjorgji Krstevski), Другата страна (The Other side)
  • Михајло Свидерски (Mihajlo Sviderski), Последните денови на Ханс (Han's last days)
  • Петар Андоновски (Petar Andonovski), Страв од варвари (Fear of barbarians)



  • Atle Berge, Puslingar (Puzzle)
  • Bjørn Esben Almaas, Den gode vennen (The good friend)
  • Maria Navarro Skarange, Bok om sorg (Book of sorrow)
  • Therese Tungen, Kjærleik og det som liknar (Love and the like),



  • Elisa Ferrer, Temporada de avispas (Wasp season),
  • Irene Solà, Canto jo i la muntanya balla (I sing and the mountain dances),
  • Joan Benesiu, Serem Atlàntida (We will be Atlantis),
  • Raquel Taranilla, Noche y océano (Night and ocean),

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