By Siobhan O’Leary
Following Berlin Verlag’s May release of the paperback edition of A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini’s books have now sold more than 2.5 million books in the German-speaking world. Even Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave the book a little boost when he recommended A Thousand Splendid Suns during a German Bundestag debate. He also lists The Kite Runner as among his favorite books on his Facebook page.
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Stiftung Elementarteilchen in Berlin have teamed up to launch their own international literature prize. The prize, worth 35,000 Euros, will be awarded to a work of contemporary fiction that has been translated into German for the first time. Eighty-one publishers submitted applications for 131 titles, including works from 53 countries. The longlist can be viewed on BuchMarkt.de and a shortlist of six titles will be published on September 2nd. The winner will be announced on September 30th.
Five bookstores in Germany are combining marketing forces to launch a new initiative called 5plus. The stores (which are located in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Freiburg, and Cologne) will host joint events, publish a free customer magazine starting in November. As the Boersenblatt reports in an interview with Wilfried Weber from Felix Jud, the participating bookstore in Hamburg, the new magazine will have a circulation of 20,000 and each store will recommend five titles per issue.