Bratislava, April 6 (TASR) – The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Slovakia Igor Borisovich Bratchikov congratulated the writer Jozef Banáš on winning the Russian National Prize “Best book and publisher of the year 2020”. Banáš won the first prize in the biography category for the novel Prebijem sa! Štefánik (I´ll break through! Štefánik. A Man of Iron Will), published by the Moscow publishing house M.I.K.
An expert jury composed of representatives of the Russian National Library, the weekly Literaturnaja gazeta and the Russian Biographical Institute selected from among 300 domestic and foreign language books. The second place was awarded to co-authors Zvonareva and Spiridonová for their novel The Lost Paradise of Alexander Alexeyev, and the third place went to Yuri Abdokov and his novel Nikolai Pejko.
During the 21 years of existence of the National Prize for Literature, Jozef Banáš was the first author from Slovakia to receive it. According to the chairman of the jury, Stanislav Rybas, the key criteria in selecting the winning book were its topicality and universality. Ambassador Bratchikov emphasized the fact that this award was won by a novel about the astronomer and diplomat M. R. Štefánik, who cooperated with the Russian observatory in Pulkov near St. Petersburg and who also had an audience with the Russian Tsar Nicholas II.: „The figure of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik, so brilliantly described by Jozef Banáš, has exceeded Slovak history and has become part of universal history.“
Jozef Banáš was surprised to learn about the award. He became the first Slovak to receive this traditional Russian literary prize. “I am happy that after the recent success in India with my novel about Alexander Dubček, this book is another presentation of an important Slovak personality in the world. Together with my participation in the finals of the Johann Gottfried Seume Award in Germany with the novel Jubilation Zone, this prize is the highest international award I have received,“ the author commented his success.
Presently he is writing a novel on the life, thoughts and work of the founding father of the largest footwear empire in the world, the brilliant entrepreneur and motivator Tomáš Baťa.
Photo: Russian Ambassador to Slovakia His Excellency Igor Bratchikov congratulates the winner Jozef Banáš