Germany's most important literary award of the spring, the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair, kicks off for real today with the release of the shortlists (sorry about the hyperbole, I've been editing a real estate magazine).
Five fiction titles* are up there, none of which I have read:
Anna Katharina Fröhlich: Kream Korner (Berlin Verlag)
(German women having adventures in India)
Arno Geiger: Der alte König in seinem Exil (Hanser)
(About his senile father)
Wolfgang Herrndorf: Tschick (Rowohlt Berlin)
(The coming-of-age road novel everybody's loving)
Clemens J. Setz: Die Liebe zur Zeit des Mahlstädter Kindes (Suhrkamp)
(Short stories, not out until mid-March)
Peter Stamm: Seerücken (Fischer)
(More short stories out in March)
You can listen to samples from the shortlisted titles at Literaturport (not up quite yet, but no doubt very soon indeed).
And you can also look at the shortlists for the translation and non-fiction categories on the prize website. Nominees include the writer Terezia Mora for an Esterhazy translation and Karen Duve for her Anständig essen, which I've written about here.
The three prizes are awarded at the Leipzig Book Fair on 17 March. And you can vote for your favourite here. Not that it will have any effect on the judges' decision whatsoever, but hey, maybe you like ticking boxes.
*A brief note on the links I've provided: They're all to publishers' websites, and unfortunately all in German. Although German publishers are getting better at promoting their titles in English, the latest trend seems to be a flashy PDF version of their catalogues, which is no doubt aesthetically pleasing but not much use for my purposes. Sadly, the publishing world does not revolve around my personal needs.