Georgi Gospodinov Wins Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize

Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov is this year’s winner of the Giovanni Boccaccio literary prize, said the organizers. He was one of three laureates of the 42nd edition of the prize, together with Stefania Battistini for Journalism and Marco Paolini for Communication Ethics.

Gospodinov is the winner of this year’s International Booker Prize, which he shared with the English translator of his novel Time Shelter, Angela Rodel.

The presenting ceremony in the town of Certaldo was organized by the Giovanni Boccaccio literary society, Tuscany Region, Certaldo Municipality, Rotary Club and the Friends of Boccaccio Society, reports

“Now we live in many times at once – not in one specific time,” the writer says in an interview for the Giovanni Boccaccio literary prize website ( “We have a serious deficit of future, so we often go in circles and seek refuge in the past,” he adds.

Asked about the future people can expect, considering that war has returned to Europe when it was believed gone for good, Gospodinov says that every war “is an abrupt return to the past”. “Putin started this war to reclaim the past, to reclaim the Soviet empire, but in effect he has taken us back to World War II. The present war is not just for territories, it is a war for the past. That is why the present looks like the past. The project of the future is in deep crisis. We, together with the younger generation, in dialogue with our children, must counter the widespread social and climate disintegration as soon as possible, begin to claim the possibility of a future, personal and planetary, inch by inch,” he says.

Taking a question about his sources of inspiration, Gospodinov says that man is his natural inspiration and theme of writing. “Man with all his anxieties and untold stories. For me personally, childhood and the innate empathy a child possesses is an important inspiration.”