Wednesday, 13 August 2014

German Book Prize Longlist 2014

They just announced the twenty titles nominated for the big, big German book prize, the aptly named German Book Prize. Here they are with links:

Lukas Bärfuss: Koala (Wallstein, March 2014) 

Ulrike Draesner: Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt (Luchterhand, March 2014)

Antonio Fian: Das Polykrates-Syndrom (Droschl, February 2014)

Franz Friedrich: Die Meisen von Uusimaa singen nicht mehr (S. Fischer, August 2014)

Thomas Hettche: Pfaueninsel (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, September 2014)

Esther Kinsky: Am Fluß (Matthes & Seitz Berlin, August 2014)

Angelika Klüssendorf: April (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, February 2014)

Michael Köhlmeier: Zwei Herren am Strand (Hanser, August 2014)

Martin Lechner: Kleine Kassa (Residenz, February 2014)

Gertrud Leutenegger: Panischer Frühling (Suhrkamp, March 2014)

Charles Lewinsky: Kastelau (Nagel & Kimche, July 2014)

Thomas Melle: 3000 Euro (Rowohlt.Berlin, August 2014)

Matthias Nawrat: Unternehmer (Rowohlt, March 2014)

Christoph Poschenrieder: Das Sandkorn (Diogenes, February 2014)

Lutz Seiler: Kruso (Suhrkamp, September 2014)

Saša Stanišić: Vor dem Fest (Luchterhand, March 2014)

Heinrich Steinfest: Der Allesforscher (Piper, March 2014)

Marlene Streeruwitz: Nachkommen. (S. Fischer, June 2014)

Feridun Zaimoglu: Isabel (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, February 2014)

Michael Ziegelwagner: Der aufblasbare Kaiser (Rowohlt.Berlin, March 2014)

There are a couple I was hoping and expecting to see, most notably Lutz Seiler's amazing Kruso, and I'm currently reading Draesner's Sieben Sprünge... I like that they have Stanišić on the list even though he won the Leipzig prize in the spring – because it's a genuinely excellent book. I read Klüssendorf's previous novel Das Mädchen, which is part of the same series, and found it gruellingly good, so I shall read this new one too. And I'll definitely pick up the two books set in London – very excited about Esther Kinsky's contemplation of the River Lea, because I know her writing is exquisite, and I've heard good things about Leutenegger too. I've heard Hettche reading from his manuscript, a historical piece set on Berlin's Peacock Island, but I'm afraid I tuned out. And I've already ordered a copy of the Franz Friedrich book, another birdy one, for when it comes out. He's already won some other prize with it, for young writers or debut novels or something.

And the rest seems to be a mixture of old men still plodding away (forgive me, no doubt I will regret writing this if I ever get old), wacky plot-led fun, and making a point of including books about working-class people. Not to detract from any of the books, but you know, when I start looking for patterns that's what comes out at first glance. If I were ever to be part of the jury (forgive me, etc.) I would make sure not to have any very long books on the list, because they don't sell abroad. But I know that's not the sole point of the exercise.

Good German, Austrian and Swiss bookshops should have copies of the reader very soon, containing extracts from all twenty titles. I know the lovely people at Ocelot in Berlin have ordered it. I will trot along and get one and present my now customary biased and unprofessional overview before the shortlist comes out, on the 10th of September.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was hoping and expecting to see there Joachim Lottmann's "Endlich Kokain".

What an entertaining new novel!