Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Judges - But No Booksellers

I know I've been amiss recently on the posting front. There's been no real reason I can think of, except for life in general. I shall try harder though. Perhaps there's a certain element of apathy in the face of the repetitive nature of the German book world. You know, books come out, people review them, people buy them and read them, then put them on their shelves, more books come out, more reviews, etc. pp.

Thank goodness for prizes, then! A welcome ray of pretend glamour in the humdrum life of a literary blogger. And today the Giant Haystacks of German book awards, the German Book Prize, announced its new jury. Studded with literary stars, it is: critics Maike Albath (who once won an award for being nice to translators) and Gregor Dotzauer, top poet/prose writer Ulrike Draesner, Goethe Institut man who once sent me an email Clemens-Peter Haase, my favourite ever German critic Ina Hartwig, radio and TV journalist Christine Westermann and Focus magazine man and Kehlmann fan Uwe Wittstock.

But as trade mag Buchreport points out, this year there's no bookseller among the judges. Apparently nobody volunteered because they'd have to read too many books. Now had they asked me (and offered me a significant sum of money), I would have willingly sacrificed my time as the voice of the reading public. But no. They'll just have to put up with this raggle-taggle band of talented and award-winning literary experts.

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