Russian Poet Maria Stepanova Wins Leipzig Book Prize 2023

Maria Stepanova, a Russian-Jewish poet, novelist, and journalist living in Berlin, has won the prestigious Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding in 2023.

About Maria Stepanova

  • Stepanova, born in Moscow in 1972, has been an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin’s administration.
  • In an interview with German public broadcaster RBB, Stepanova expressed her admiration for Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion and described it as a battle of “good versus evil.”
  • Stepanova’s novel “In Memory of Memory,” which explores themes of Stalinism and the collapse of the Soviet Union, was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2021.
  • She was awarded the Leipzig Book Prize for her poetry collection titled “Girls Without Clothes,” which sensitively addresses power dynamics leading to violence and oppression against women.
  • She was also nominated for the Booker Prize in 2021.

About the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding

  • The Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding is a prestigious literary award that started in 1994  for “Progress of Reconciliation” in Europe.
  • The prize aims to promote better understanding among European cultures by honoring exceptional works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that contribute to this goal.
  • The award ceremony is held annually during the Leipzig Book Fair in Germany, where the winners in three categories (fiction, non-fiction, and translation) receive a cash prize and a bronze statuette.
  • The jury for the Leipzig Book Prize consists of literary scholars, critics, and journalists from various European countries who evaluate works in different languages to select the winners.
  • The Leipzig Book Prize has gained a reputation as one of the most respected literary awards in Europe, with winning it considered a notable accomplishment for authors. The prize plays an important role in fostering cultural exchange and understanding among European nations, and it also helps to draw attention to significant literary works that might otherwise go unnoticed.
  • The 30th Leipzig Book Fair hosted the award ceremony on April 25, 2023.
  • Pankaj Mishra is the only Indian who has won this award in 2014.

About Pankaj Mishra

  • Pankaj Mishra is an Indian author, novelist, and essayist who won the Leipzig Book Prize in the category of non-fiction in 2014 for his book “From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia”.
  • Mishra was born in 1969 in Jhansi, and grew up in various parts of northern India. 
  • He studied English literature at the University of Allahabad and later went on to complete a PhD in English literature at the University of Oxford.
  • Mishra’s writing focuses on themes of culture, globalization, politics, and history, particularly in the context of India and Asia. 
  • He has written several books, including “Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India”, “An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World”, and “Age of Anger: A History of the Present”, among others.
  • Mishra’s work has been widely recognized and praised for its insight and depth, and he has won numerous awards and honors over the course of his career. 
  • In addition to the Leipzig Book Prize, he has been a finalist for the Orwell Prize for political writing, the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, and the Man Booker International Prize, among others.


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    Shubham Mittal is a renowned current affairs writer and expert in government exam preparation, inspiring readers with insightful articles and guiding aspirants with his expertise.

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