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Maria Stepanova Awarded 2023 Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding
May 2, 2023

Maria Stepanova (Harriman Writer in Residence Spring 2022) was awarded the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding for her poetry collection Girls without Clothes. 

The Russian-Jewish author, whose novel “In Memory of Memory” explores Stalinism and the fall of the Soviet Union, was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2021, was honored in Leipzig on Tuesday for her volume of poetry, “Girls Without Clothes.” It is described as a sensitive and highly poetic study of often hidden violence against the female body and the power imbalance that drives this oppression.

In a statement, the jury praised the “unconditionality with which she insists on the poetic perception of the world,” adding that Stepanova’s “work is at the same time an echo chamber of world literature in which Dante, Goethe and Walt Whitman are just as present as Ezra Pound, Inger Christensen and Anne Carson.”

The prize ceremony was held at the opening of the 30th Leipzig Book Fair on April 25.

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