Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Chamisso Prize to Michael Stavaric

This year's Adelbert von Chamisso Prize – "a literary prize awarded by Robert Bosch Stiftung since 1985 to non-German authors writing in the German language" – goes to the Austrian/Czech writer Michael Stavaric. €15,000! The emerging writers' prizes, worth €7000 each so not to be sniffed at, go to Akos Doma (German/Hungarian) and Ilir Ferra (Austrian/Albanian).

Stavaric is one of those people everybody seems to know except me. I'm told he's exceptionally charming. I believe I've seen him reading but not actually read any of his books, but I'm sure I'll remedy that very soon with his most recent, surreal-ish novel Brenntage. He also translates, I believe, and writes poetry, and won the emerging writers' prize a few years back. And he writes journalism and reviews. And children's books. So it's good to see him getting (more) recognition, even if it is the world's most patronising award. (At least in the way it's received, as a prize for people who manage to write in German even though it's not their first language. The foundation behind it does good work, I have to admit, sending writers to schools as role models, etc. and not stressing the whole "foreign but good!" aspect as much as the evil media in general tend to do. But I've stated my opinion on it what feels like ten times, so just click on the "Chamisso" tab to recap.)

I see that he was Max Kade Writer/Scholar in Residence at Rutgers in 2009 and had a couple of events in the States, but I can't find any hint that his work has been translated. Do correct me if I'm wrong!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anthea Bell did a lovely sample of Böse Spiele for C.H. Beck, but I don't know if any publishers picked it up. I hope so, though; his voice is stunning and absolutely inimitable.