The German Book Prize shortlist is out. And here it is:
• Rainer Merkel: Lichtjahre entfernt (S. Fischer, March 2009)
• Herta Müller: Atemschaukel (Hanser, August 2009)
• Norbert Scheuer: Überm Rauschen (C. H. Beck, June 2009)
• Kathrin Schmidt: Du stirbst nicht (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, February 2009)
• Clemens J. Setz: Die Frequenzen (Residenz, February 2009)
• Stephan Thome: Grenzgang (Suhrkamp, August 2009).
I'm rather surprised, and there are a couple of books here I wouldn't even want to read more of, let alone want them to win. But who's asking me? I'm sorry to say only half of the links above are in English. Perhaps the publishers themselves don't hold the translation rights, perhaps they're just a bit slow or really big pdf fans. If it was up to me I'd have gone to the trouble of translating a wee blurb about the books into English the moment a book made it to the longlist - but hey, I'm not in publishing. Residenz Verlag, however, gets a gold star for flagging up Clemens J. Setz's novel as shortlisted only 10 minutes after the announcement.
The winner will be announced on 12 October. Sample translations should be available online somewhere or other in the next few days; I'll let you know.