Writer Joana Bértholo is the winner of the 2023 Eça de Queiroz Foundation / Millennium bcp Foundation Literary Prize with the novel A História de Roma (The History of Rome). The judges – Bruno Vieira Amaral, Carlos Reis, Isabel Lucas, Luísa Mellid-Franco and Manuel Pereira Cardoso – unanimously selected the novel, calling it “a story of modern love, and at the same time a story of love” based “on the literary and stylistic maturity of the author, who makes The History of Rome an original work, rescuing one of the most recurring themes in literature from banality”.
The prize, worth €10,000, is awarded biennially to a fictional work (novel or novella) by a Portuguese author under 40 years old, and aims to promote and encourage the production of literary works in the Portuguese language, as well as honoring Eça de Queiroz, one of the greatest national and international figures of Portuguese literature and culture.
FULL JUDGES’ STATEMENT
“The judges of the Eça de Queiroz Foundation/Millennium bcp Foundation Literary Prize unanimously decided to choose the work A História de Roma, by Joana Bértholo . It is a modern love story, and at the same time a story of modern. The work recovers the idea of narrative as a journey, and in it the development of a process of self-knowledge. The novel explores the frontier of fiction and non-fiction, never straying from literature. The geographical and amorous wanderings are based on the author’s literary and stylistic maturity, which makes A História de Roma an original work, rescuing one of the most recurrent themes in literature from banality.” Lisbon, September 1, 2023, the Judges of the Eça de Queiroz Foundation/Millennium bcp Foundation Literary Prize.