Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Büchner Prize to Felicitas Hoppe

I'm rather jubilant that this year's Büchner Prize – Germany's premier award honouring established writers for their entire body of work – has gone to Felicitas Hoppe!

She's only the eighth woman to get it since 1951, following in the footsteps of Christa Wolf and Elfriede Jelinek, among others. Her playful writing has been translated into Dutch, French, Russian and Swedish, as trade mag Buchreport points out - but as yet not into English. I was recently bowled over by her thoroughly likeable reading from her utterly fictional autobiography at the LCB, and also enjoyed her Johanna, which is sort of about Joan of Arc but sort of not. Oh, and I shall now plunge right into her beautiful children's book Iwein Löwenritter to celebrate.

The Büchner Prize is a big grown-up pat on the back, the best German-language writers can get - I certainly hope this paves Felicitas Hoppe's way into English. The judges wrote:
In her laconic and lyrical, headstrong and unconceited prose, she has invented a narrative universe in which basic issues of a 'postmodern' existence are acted out with liberated and liberating imagination.
Isn't that lovely? Oh, and she gets 50,000 euros.


Tony said...

Oh, another German author to check out ;) Do you have a personal favourite to recommend for the first-time reader?

kjd said...

Hi Tony,

Her latest, Hoppe, is very accessible I think and also gives you a good idea of how much fun her writing is while still being very literary.