Thursday, 3 July 2008

Michael Kleeberg & Other Awards

Rejoice, you English-speaking peoples, for you may now read Michael Kleeberg's hair-raising and exhilarating story, The Communist of Montmartre, on Words Without Borders. Translated by David Dollenmayer, the winner of this year's Wolff Translation Prize.
This is one of those do not pass go, do not collect 200 pounds kind of stories, people. You have to read it right now. This month's Words Without Borders is dedicated to revolutions and revolutionaries, and it sort of fits in and sort of doesn't. But I don't want to give too much away - just go ahead and read it. You should also be able to get hold of Dollenmayer's translation of Kleeberg's novel The King of Corsica, a "modern classic where history, philosophy, and eroticism collide in the grand tradition of the 18th-century novel."

Kleeberg himself translates from French and English and lives in Berlin - when he's not being writer-in-residence in Mainz, that is. Just yesterday, he was presented with Hamburg's Irmgard Heilmann Award for his latest novel Karlmann, an "anthology of masculinity" set firmly in the 1980s. He can add it to his well-stocked cabinet of twelve literary prizes and top up his bank account by €7500.

Speaking of awards, Rosmarie Waldrop recently got the $3000 US PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for Ulf Stolterfoht's Lingos I-IX. Stolterfoht has actually been translated various times; if you're interested, look him up at no man's land for links.

Compared to the above, Marcel Beyer is raking it in. He just won Germany's richest purse for writers, the Jospeh Breitenbach Prize (fifty thousand euros). True to my promise to provide biased and unprofessional reports, I won't bother with any links because his novel Kaltenburg made me fall asleep.

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