Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Indie Hotlist 2013 Announced

The German-language independent presses have released this year's list of top ten titles, one of which will win the publishers a prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Unlike other prize shortlists, this one is quite eclectic – fiction and non-fiction, translations and German originals have all made the list. Here they are:

*Luiz Ruffato: Es waren viele Pferde (trans. Michael Kegler); Assoziation A – a Brazilian novel zapping around Sao Paolo

Patrick Deville: Äquatoria (trans. Sabine Müller & Holger Fock); Bilger Verlag – a French novel about Africa and colonialism and discoverers now and then

Abbas Khider: Brief in die Auberginenrepublik; Edition Nautilus – a German novel about a letter conveyed around the Arab world by underground couriers

Saskia Henning von Lange: Alles, was draußen ist; Jung und Jung Verlag – a German novella about an anatomical museum

Amy Hempel: Die Ernte (trans. Jakob Jung); Luxbooks – an American short story collection about fear and death

*Stevan Paul: Schlaraffenland; Mairisch Verlag – a German short story collection about people and food, with matching recipes

Philip Hoare: Leviathan oder der Wal (trans. Hans-Ulrich Möhring); mareverlag – an English book exploring how we think about whales

*Ryu Murakami: Das Casting (trans. Mokoto Yajin & Leopold Federmair); Septime Verlag – a Japanese novel about a widower auditioning women for a wife

Julia Deck: Viviane Élisabeth Fauville (trans. Anne Weber); Verlag Klaus Wagenbach – a French novel about a woman with a newborn baby and a murder to cover up

Wsewolod Petrow: Die Manon Lescault von Turdej (trans. Daniel Jurjew); Weidle Verlag – a Russian short story about a Soviet intellectual reading Goethe on a train full of military medical personnel

For me, the three original German titles are obviously the most interesting. But I think the list as a whole tells us a lot about what independent publishers in the German-speaking world are good at. They each submit one book, and then three were chosen by internet vote (marked with an asterisk above) and seven by a panel of judges. The same judges then choose their favourite and the prize is awarded at a big party on 11 October. The winning publisher gets €5000.

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