German Book Prize 2015: A Look into the Longlist

In German Buch News by Ingrid Süßmann

The German Book Prize, worth a total of 37,500 euros, is the country’s most prestigious award for literature.

By Ingrid Süßmann

Logo_dbp_15_RGBAs the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 draws nearer, so does the German Book Prize 2015. The winner of Germany’s most prestigious literary prize will be announced prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 12. The winner will receive 25,000 euros and the other five shortlisted finalists will receive 2,500 euros each.

This year, 167 titles were submitted by 101 publishers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The jury, consisting of seven journalists, booksellers and publishing professionals, has chosen 20 titles for the longlist. Those 20 titles will be narrowed down to six titles for the shortlist, which will be announced on September 16. On October 12, one winner will be awarded the German Book Prize.

Here is a look at this year’s longlist for the German Book Prize:

Alina Bronsky: Baba Dunjas letzte Liebe (Baba Dunja’s Last Love)
Publisher: Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Rights sold to USA

Ralph Dutli: Die Liebenden von Mantua (The Lovers of Mantua)
Publisher: Wallstein
What it’s about: A grand novel about a new dystopy of love.

Jenny Erpenbeck: Gehen, Ging, Gegangen (Go, Went, Gone)
Publisher: Knaus
Deutschlandradio Kultur calls it “A deeply humane novel, coming at exactly the right time.”

Valerie Fritsch: Winters Garten (Winter’s Garden)
Publisher: Suhrkamp
Rights sold to Spain and The Netherlands

Heinz Helle: Eigentlich müssten wir tanzen (Actually, Should Dance)
Publisher: Suhrkamp
What it’s about: What is the difference between living and surviving?

Gertraud Klemm: Aberland (Aberland)
Publisher: Droschl
A year in the lives of a mother and daughter. A pointed and humorous portrait of middle-class living today. Both want to break free from the straight and narrow path in order to scrutinize — and ultimately understand — one another.

Steffen Kopetzky: Risiko (Risk)
Publisher: Klett-Cotta
What it’s about: A game that might just change the world history

Rolf Lappert: Über den Winter (About Winter)
Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag
What it’s about: The fragile and yet strong thing that’s called Family

Inger-Maria Mahlke: Wie Ihr Wollt (As You Like It)
Publisher: Berlin Verlag
Thomas Hettche says: “Inger-Maria Mahlke’s storytelling is ruthless and affectionate in equal measure.”

Ulrich Peltzer: Das bessere Leben (The Better Life)
Publisher: S. Fischer
What it’s about: A metaphysical thriller on the 21st century and the ghosts of the past

Peter Richter: 89/90 (89/90)
Publisher: Luchterhand
What it’s about: Coming of age in the shadow of world history

Monique Schwitter: Eins im Andern (One in the Other)
Publisher: Droschl
What it’s about: What is love? Why can love come and go? Where does love go when it goes? And what is happening to the current love?

Clemens J. Setz: Die Stunde zwischen Frau und Gitarre (The Hour Between Woman and Guitar)
Publisher: Suhrkamp
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says: One of the highest hopes of German literature.

Anke Stelling: Bodentiefe Fenster (Floor-to-Ceiling Window)
Publisher: Verbrecher Verlag

Ilja Trojanow: Macht und Widerstand (Power And Resistance)
Publisher: S. Fischer
What it’s about: Ilija Trojanow has written the book of his life: A dizzying stare into the abyss between power and resistance.

Vladimir Vertlib: Lucia Binar und die russische Seele (Lucia Binar and the Russian Soul)
Publisher: Deuticke
What it’s about: An old lady who refuses to surrender. A lovable character, bursting with energy — especially when she’s set her mind on something.
Rights sold to Italy, Russia and Slovenia

Kai Weyand: Applaus für Bronikowski (Applause For Bronikowski)
Publisher: Wallstein
What it’s about: For Kai Weyand, it’s a matter of life and death. Very funny.

Frank Witzel: Die Erfinden der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969 (The Invention of the Red Army Faction by a Manic Depressive Teenager in the Summer of 1969)
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Thomas Meinicke says: “I’ve been fascinated by Frank Witzel’s poetic for years now. His speculative as well as poetical realism gets me. I know no comparable author.”

Christine Wunnicke: Der Fuchs und Dr. Shimamura (The Fox and Dr. Shimamura)
Publisher: Berenberg
WDR 3 says: “A smart, artistic and almost surreal novel that shows how you can soar into the air, being catapulted there by historical facts and narrative finesse.”

Feridun Zaimoglu: Siebentürmeviertel (Seven Towers District)
Publisher: Kiepenheuer & Witsch
With great eloquence and poetical finesse, Zaimoglu introduces his readers to a world where cultures and religions, but above all human passions and aspirations clash.

About the Author

Ingrid Süßmann

Ingrid Süßmann is an IT Project Manager at Droemer Knaur in Munich, Germany. She previously worked as Author Relations Manager for neobooks, and has held various positions at Random House Germany and Carlsen Verlag. In addition to her work in book publishing, Ingrid is also a certified beekeeper and fan of baby donkeys.