Yuri Vynnychuk and Lesya Voronyna win the BBC Ukrainian book awards

This year’s entries in both categories amazed us with the plethora of fantastical or mystical storylines, with protagonists travelling across epochs and parallel worlds. I think this shows that writers and readers alike are ready for an even more intricate reflection of reality in present-day Ukrainian literature."Nina Kuryata, Panel member and BBC Ukrainian Editor
Date: 18.12.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.04
Category: World Service
BBC Ukrainian has announced the winners of its Book of the Year (Книга року BBC 2012) and Children’s Book of the Year (Дитяча Книга року BBC 2012) awards which are presented in partnership with the Cultural Programme of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The Tango of Death (“Танго смерті”) (Kharkiv, Folio, 2012) by Yuri Vynnychuk has been named the BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year 2012.

The Secret Society Of Cowards And Liars (“Таємне Товариство Боягузів та Брехунів”) (Kiev, Grani-T, 2012) by Lesya Voronyna is the winner of the BBC Ukrainian Children’s Book of the Year 2012 award.

Panel member and BBC Ukrainian Editor, Nina Kuryata, says: “This year’s entries in both categories amazed us with the plethora of fantastical or mystical storylines, with protagonists travelling across epochs and parallel worlds. I think this shows that writers and readers alike are ready for an even more intricate reflection of reality in present-day Ukrainian literature.”

Professor of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and member of the panel of the BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year awards, Vira Ageyeva, comments on The Tango Of Death: “Yuriy Vynnychuk’s novel has an exciting storyline and a strong emphasis on historical facts – a combination which results in wonderful scenes from the life in Lviv between the first and second world wars. Yuri Vynnychuk masterfully aligns the funny and the tragic in his trademark style.”

For the first time in the award’s eight-year history, a separate prize for the best children’s book was introduced this year. Commenting on the winning book, Vira Ageyeva says: “Lesya Voronyna’s The Secret Society Of Cowards And Liars is about courage which always wins. Only those who can conquer their own fear will save the planet occupied by awful aliens. They also draw strength from the treasures that are hidden in our history. Ancient treasures helped Lesya Voronyna’s protagonist to overcome incredible challenges and establish good.”

The winning authors were awarded a Ukrainian hryvnya equivalent of £1,000. The awards were presented by Artyom Liss, BBC World Service Europe Hub Editor, and Jonathan Charles, Director of EBRD Communications Department which runs the bank’s Cultural Programme.

Artyom Liss says: “The BBC remains committed to developing our presence in Ukraine, and to enriching the content we offer to our Ukrainian audiences. The Book of the Year award offers our readers a unique insight into Ukraine’s rich cultural life.”

Jonathan Charles adds: "The BBC Book Prize, now in partnership with the EBRD Cultural Programme, not only informs the reading public of Ukraine’s best literary offering each year, but also fosters literary debate and promotes a free exchange of ideas. The EBRD strongly believes that educated, informed citizens are vital for a developed society.”

For more information about the awards and for the reviews, please go to bbc.ua.

For more information please contact

BBC Ukrainian: Nina Kuryata on +38 050 3553020 and nina.kuryata@bbc.co.uk or for BBC World Service: Helen.Deller@bbc.co.uk

Cultural programme of EBRD: Svitlana Pyrkalo, pyrkalos@ebrd.com +44 780 251 0751

Notes to editors

Past years’ winners are:

2011 - Blue Waters by Volodymir Rutkivskiy (Володимир Рутківський, "Сині води")

2010 – Voroshylovgrad by Serhiy Zhadan (Сергій Жадан “Ворошиловград”)

2009 – TAKE by Izdryk (Іздрик)

2008 – Milk And Blood by Lyuko Dashvar (Люко Дашвар “Молоко з кров’ю”)

2007 – Andriyivskyy Descent by Volodymyr Dibrova (Володимир Дібровa “Андріївський узвіз”)

2006 – Capital by Serhiy Zhadan (Сергій Жадан “Капітал”)

2005 – Spring Games In Autumn Gardens by Yuri Vynnychuk (Юрій Винничук “Весняні ігри в осінніх садах”)

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EBRD Cultural Programme aims to promote arts and culture from over 30 countries where the Bank invests. EBRD http://www.ebrd.com/pages/homepage.shtml is a multilateral development bank which promotes democracy and market economy in countries from central Europe to central Asia, and now north Africa. In Ukraine,the EBRD is the biggest investor. The EBRD Cultural Programme http://www.ebrd.com/pages/news/events/cultural/info.shtml is partnering with the BBC Ukrainian Book Prize since 2012 to recognise excellence in the modern Ukrainian literature, both for adults and children.