The Ukrainian writer, translator and musician Serhij Zhadan will receive the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 2022. This was announced by the Board of Trustees on Monday in Frankfurt am Main. The author was honored “for his outstanding artistic work and for his humanitarian attitude, with which he turns to the people in the war and helps them at the risk of his life,” it said in justification.
The 47-year-old Zhadan is one of the most important voices in contemporary Ukrainian literature. He still lives in Kharkiv.
In his novels, essays, poems and song texts, he leads into a world that has experienced major upheavals and at the same time lives from tradition, according to the foundation board. “His lyrics tell how war and destruction enter this world and shake people up.”
In doing so, he finds his own language: “Thoughtful and listening, in a poetic and radical tone,” Zhadan explores, “how the people in Ukraine, despite all the violence, are trying to lead an independent life determined by peace and freedom.”
Zhadan was born on August 23, 1974 in Starobilsk, Luhansk region. He studied literature, Ukrainian studies and German studies in Kharkiv and received his doctorate in 1996. Since the early 1990s he has been organizing literary festivals and festivals and has published novels, poems, short stories and essays. He is also active as a singer. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine in February, he has been providing more humanitarian aid.