The nominations for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair - the literary award of the season - are out now. There are three categories: fiction (including short stories), non-fiction and translation. Sadly, I can't link directly to the lists so if you're interested, please just navigate there from the link above.
Here are the five fiction titles:
Ralph Dohrmann: Kronhardt
A very long debut novel about sixty years of West German history. It's got a lot of praise since it came out last August but seems to be one of those books sadly overlooked by prize juries. So far. Its editor was very excited about it last summer, or at least I assume this was the book she told me to keep my eyes out for. I'm pleased for her.
Lisa Kränzler: Nachhinein
Yay! Teenage girls! Young writer Kränzler won a prize in Klagenfurt with an extract from this unconventional novel about girls from different sides of the tracks. I found it "thoughtful and sensual and overtly political but (it) didn't rock my boat so much."
Birk Meinhardt: Brüder und Schwestern
Another sweeping panoramic historical debut novel, this time about East Germany. The writing looks fine, what with the author being an award-winning journalist.
David Wagner: Leben
My favourite, obviously. Wagner - with whom I was once going to go out for a walk but it was too cold - writes about a man waiting for an organ donation. I suspect it is masterful. It comes out tomorrow and I will be reading it.
Anna Weidenholzer: Der Winter tut den Fischen gut
Perhaps the most quirky title on this not un-quirky list, this seems to be a novel about oddballs getting through life as best they can in a small town. I'm guessing it's well observed and entertaining, and it's written by a young Austrian.
Congratulations to all the nominees.