Among the 20 books nominated for the most important Polish literary award „Nike” 2023 was the historical reportage „Promised Gdynia. City, modernism, modernization 1920-1939” by Grzegorz Piątek! The historian and architecture critic this year received the Polityka Passport for it, and whether it will win the „Nike” we will find out in early October.
This is Grzegorz Piatek's second nomination for the „Nike” award—in 2021, his book The Best City in the World. Warsaw in reconstruction 1944-1949 was among the group of seven finalists. This year, his historical reportage "Gdynia Promised. City, Modernism, Modernization 1920- 1939," which you can read a review of in Anna Cymer's article, The Myth of the White City.
Funded by Gazeta Wyborcza and the Agora Foundation, the „Nike” Literary Award has been given since 1997, honoring the best book written in any literary genre and published in the year preceding the award. Winners receive a statuette inspired by the mythical goddess of victory Nike, designed by sculptor Gustaw Zemła, and a cash prize. Among the award winners are Czesław Miłosz, Jerzy Pilch, Dorota Masłowska, Olga Tokarczuk (twice), Joanna Bator, Cezary Lazarewicz, Marcin Wicha and Mariusz Szczygiel.
The winning book of this year's 27th edition of the „Nike” will be announced in October this year. The winner will be chosen by a jury chaired by Inga Iwasiów and composed of Marek Beylin, Przemysław Czapliński, Justyna Jaworska, Tadeusz Nyczek, Masza Potocka, Krzysztof Siwczyk, Maria Topczewska, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz.
In addition to Grzegorz Piątek, the following will compete for the prize:
- Andrzej Bienkowski—essay "I held a snake in a handful",
- Wiktoria Biezunska—a novel "Passing over the threshold, I will whistle",
- Anna Bikont—reportage "Price. In search of Jewish children after the war"
- Konstanty Gebert—historical essay "Final Solutions. Genocidaires and their work",
- Matthew Gorniak—novel „Trash Story”,
- Olga Gorska—the novel „We will not all go to paradise”,
- Sabina Jakubowska—the novel „The Acushers”,
- Jaroslaw Kurski—historical essay „Dziady i dybuki. A digressive tale”,
- Natalia Malek—poetry „Hoops”,
- Tomasz S. Markiewka—historical reportage „Nothing happened. The story of my grandmother's life”,
- Aleksandra Mlynarczyk-Gemza—novel „Zapiski madiatki”,
- Andrzej Muszyński—novel „House of the Fathers”,
- Patryk Pufelski—journal „Pavilion of small mammals”,
- Zyta Rudzka—novel „He laughs who has teeth”,
- Piotr Sommer—poetry „Years of Practice”,
- Katarzyna Szaulinska—short stories „Black hand, curdled milk”,
- Wit Szostak—a novel „With crevices”,
- Ilona Wisniewska—reportage „Migot. From the edge of Greenland”,
- Małgorzata Żarów—novel „Enchanting snakes in hot evenings”.
We would like to remind you that Grzegorz Piątek's book „The Best City in the World” (nominated for Nike in 2021) has become the subject of an opera being prepared by Sinfonia Varsovia in cooperation with the „Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Grand Theater—National Opera and the Warsaw Museum. As part of a competition procedure, libretto author Beniamin Bukowski was selected, and composer Cezary Duchnowski will be responsible for the musical setting. The premiere is scheduled for the opening of the 2025/26 season at the Grand Theater—National Opera.