Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Hotlist Hotlist 2015

God, lists make for such easy blogging. The "Hotlist" is a top ten of outstanding books produced by independent publishers in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Although there is a prize in the end, awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the money goes to the publisher rather than the writer and/or translator. So it's about raising the profile of these books and rewarding excellence under difficult publishing conditions. Anyway, today they released the, erm, Hotlist. Here are some links and brief descriptions of this rather diverse list.

Merle Kröger: Havarie, Argument Verlag
A dinghy full of migrants, a container freighter and a cruise ship meet in the Mediterranean – a crime novel on the edge of Fortress Europe by an award-winning writer

Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki: Tumor linguae, Edition Korrespondenzen 
Bilingual edition of selected works by a cult poet, translated from Polish by Michael Zgodzay and Uljana Wolf 

Rauni Magga Lukkari / Inger-Mari Aikio-Arianaick: Erbmütter - Welttöchter, Eichenspinner Verlag
Two women Sami poets from different generations, in German translation by Christine Schlosser, in a really good-looking edition
Arno Camenisch: Die Kur, Engeler Verlag
Novel about an elderly couple in 47 "images", whatever that may mean, by a Swiss writer who this time writes in German, I think

Dinaw Mengestu: Unsere Namen, Kein & Aber Verlag
American novel set in the Midwest and Uganda, translated by Verena Kilchling

Monika Rinck: Risiko und Idiotie, kookbooks
Essay collection by a poet, on risk and idiocy and what comes after poetry – apparently revealing and hilarious

Sifiso Mzobe: Young Blood, Peter Hammer Verlag
South African novel about a teenage car thief, translated by Stephanie von Harrach

Heike Geißler: Saisonarbeit, Spector Books
I love this book and I feel no shame at declaring it my absolute favourite. Musings on the general crapness of paid labour, triggered by a seasonal job at the Leipzig Amazon warehouse. You may have a chance to read some of it in English soon, I hope. 

Anke Stelling: Bodentiefe Fenster, Verbrecher Verlag
I'm not that keen but everyone else loves this novel about a Prenzlauer Berg mum losing her marbles. Also nominated for the German Book Prize.

Kai Weyand: Applaus für Bronikowski, Wallstein Verlag
Comic novel about an unambitious man who gets a job at a funeral parlour. Also nominated for the German Book Prize.

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