The Slovenia Times

Miha Mazzini's Childhood receives novel of the year award


The award was given out on Thursday evening by the publisher Delo for the 26th time.

Childhood, subtitled an autobiographic novel from made-up stories, tells the story of a boy about whose later adventures Mazzini has written in his previous novels.

Apart from the boy, the novel features his fanatically religious grandmother, who is constantly dying, as well as courtyard friends, his bitter and constantly absent mother and uncles.

Mazzini tells a shocking story about the process of growing up of a psychologically and physically molested and neglected boy, the jury under Tone Smolej of the Faculty of Arts said as its explained its choice.

The writer de-mythologises childhood as a golden period of life and highlights the fundamental formative role it plays in a life of an individual, the jury added.

Apart from Mazzini, who was already short-listed for the prestigious award in 2011 and 2014, Gabriela Babnik, Štefan Kardoš, Mirt Komel and Nataša Sukič were nominated this year.

Every year, the winner is selected by a jury at an event atop Rožnik, where the four-member panel closes itself into an inn to choose the winning novel. This year the judging panel had to choose among 115 novels written in 2015.

The laureate received a EUR 5,000 cheque and lit a bonfire in celebration of Midsummer Eve as the award bears the name of a mythological being who appears at crossroads as a flame. Kresnik ("kres" meaning bonfire) seduces travellers into various activities, including literature.

The prize was first given out on 23 June 1991, and to mark the 25th anniversary, the publisher this year conferred also a Silver Kresnik for the best of the best. Emerging the best among the 25 winners of Kresnik was Kristalni čas (Crystal Time), a 1991 novel by Lojze Kovačič (1928-2004).

Last year, Andrej E. Skubic received the Kresnik for Samo pridi domov (You Just Come Home).


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