Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How Many Shortlists? Swiss Book Prize and Wilhelm Raabe Prize

I missed this one a week or so ago, but there's a shortlist out for the Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize, with a fat purse of €30,000 awaiting the winner:

Iris Hanika: Das Eigentliche (Literaturverlag Droschl)

Thomas Hettche: Die Liebe der Väter (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

Paulus Hochgatterer: Das Matratzenhaus (Deuticke)

Georg Klein: Roman unserer Kindheit (Rowohlt)

Rolf Lappert: Auf den Inseln des letzten Lichts (Carl Hanser Verlag)

Thomas Lehr: September. Fata Morgana (Carl Hanser Verlag)

Andreas Maier: Das Zimmer (Suhrkamp)

Alain Claude Sulzer: Zur falschen Zeit (Galiani Berlin)

The prize is awarded by the city of Braunschweig and Deutschlandradio and goes out in November.

Then there's the Swiss Book Prize, with a shorter shortlist announced today:

Dorothee Elmiger: Einladung an die Waghalsigen (DuMont)

Urs Faes: Paarbildung (Suhrkamp)

Pedro Lenz: Der Goalie bin ig (Der gesunde Menschenversand)

Kurt Marti: Notizen und Details 1964 - 2007 (Theologischer Verlag Zürich)

Melinda Nadj Abonji: Tauben fliegen auf (Jung und Jung)

This time the winner will be announced on 14 November and get 5o,000 franks. The award is only open to Swiss authors writing in German.

I'm tempted to rant about how the same names crop up on all these shortlists. But actually I'm so enamoured of the seemingly random Swiss selection - from Elmiger's debut (see my translated extract for the Bachmann Prize, where she came sort of second) to Urs Faes' doctor's story for the highly literate to Pedro Lenz's "spoken word novel" in Swiss German to Kurt Marti, who's a theologian for God's sake, to the German Book Prize shortlisted Abonji - that it's cheered me up rather. And apparently you can vote on your favourite, but they're not telling us where yet.

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