Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Awards to Özdamar, Zaimoglu

Two Turkish-born German writers have won major literary prizes over the past week or so. Emine Sevgi Özdamar, the author of Life Is a Caravanserei and The Bridge of the Golden Horn, got the Alice Salomon Poetics Prize. It comes with a post as guest lecturer and €6000, and goes to writers whose work addresses biographical, intercultural and social issues and thus play a particular role in Germany's cultural and social life, they say. Özdamar is a lovely lady (Emine is a kind of nickname and means something like "trustworthy", or at least that's what she told me once) and it's always a pleasure to hear her read. Her past in the theatre and also her excellent, delightfully quirky writing see to that. Sign and sight just posted a rather nice tribute by Harald Jähner that you might like to read.

And Feridun Zaimoglu, author of all sorts of things from Kanak Sprak to the Ruhrpott epic Ruß, just got the Prize of the Literature Houses. More money but you have to work harder for it - €11,000 plus a big tour of all the Literature Houses. See the official website for the impressive list of previous awardees.

The two of them do not get along.

1 comment:

Ina Pfitzner said...

I think what makes the Alice-Salomon-Poetik-Preis particularly interesting is that it is awarded by the Alice-Salomon-Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit in Berlin (School of Social Work), which only has a tiny sort of Creative Writing section. So the laureate's lectures out in Hellersdorf tend to be not very well attended. Maybe, once the date for this year's lecture is known, you could post it here and that way entice more people to venture out there...