MIA News

Lidija Dimkovska wins Novel of the Year award

Skopje, 15 March 2024 (MIA) – Lidija Dimkovska’s fourth novel, “Unique Citizen Identification Number” (Tri, 2023), is the winner of the Novel of the Year award given by the Slavko Janevski Foundation, contest organizers announced at a press conference Friday.

Speaking about her book, Dimkovska said the title was symbolic yet important for everyone. “We all have a unique citizen identification number. It means we exist, in a way. But the question I ask in the novel and that all of us should ask ourselves is whether we really exist, even when we have a unique citizen identification number,” she said.

“Everyone has to answer this question on their own, individually, and perhaps in the silence of their own heart,” Dimkovska said.

Last year’s laureate and this year’s judging panel chair Vlada Uroshevikj said that Dimkovska’s novel was skillfully crafted of “personal histories that spread their circles of knowledge to a global level.”

“Through the history of one family, Dimkovska undertakes to present, in all of its tragedy, one of the individual and collective destinies so characteristic of our epoch: the situation of exile,” he said.

Uroshevikj added that the characters in the book were “alienated both in their relationship to each other and in their attitude toward their surroundings. Their clashes with one another as well as their clashes with social norms are merely the consequences of their failed attempts to break through the wall of misunderstandings the world has built around them.”

Slavko Janevski Foundation director Zvezdan Georgievski highlighted the importance of the Novel of the Year Award for Macedonian culture.

“This is a prize people love. A prize that publishers, authors, readers love,” he said.

Komercijalna Banka is the general sponsor of the annual award, which consists of a statuette, a plaque, and Mden 150,000.

Komercijalna Banka representative Andrej Jovkovski said the bank’s support this year amounted to Mden 360,000, which covered the award, the statuette, the plaque, and the compensation for the panel of judges.

Thirty-six entries were competing for this year’s Novel of the Year award, which is now in its 25th year. Between 1999 and 2017, the Novel of the Year award was given by Utrinski vesnik. After the newspaper’s demise, Slavko Janevski Foundation took over the book contest.