PowerHouse’s Susanne König Wins First Frankfurt US Booksellers Prize

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Contributing to programs that highlight and promote books in translation, New York City’s Susanne König is named the first bookseller in a newly established award.

Susanne König. Image: Franck Bohbot

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘A Champion of Translated Books’
In a new recognition program from Frankfurt Book Fair New York, the executive director of Brooklyn’s PowerHouse Arena and PowerHouse on 8th bookstores has been chosen the inaugural recipient of the Frankfurter Buchmesse US Booksellers Prize.

Susanne König will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Frankfurt Book Fair (October 11-15), through the funding support of the German Foreign Office.

An award event is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at PowerHouse Arena, 28 Adams Street in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn. Those who’d like to attend are asked to notify Riky Stock, director of Frankfurt Book Fair New York (formerly German Book Office New York). She can be reached at rikystock@book-fair.com.

In a prepared statement for the announcement of König’s honor, Stock is quoted, saying:

Riky Stock

“We chose Susanne König as the first recipient of this award because she has done a great deal for international literature in her store, and has always been a strong advocate for German books in translation.

“Susanne sits on the US jury of New Books in German, and has collaborated with the Festival Neue Literatur for several years.

“She truly stands out among her colleagues as a champion for translated books.”

The new US Booksellers Prize is a collaboration with Reading the World, which showcases literature in translation in the United States. Reading the World facilitates discussion events in New York City between authors from many parts of the world.

Jeff Waxman, who spearheads the project, is quoted in the award statement, saying, “The movement of a book from author to reader is a long and arduous one, and independent booksellers have always been an integral part of that journey.

“Like Reading the World, the Frankfurt Book Fair New York has been dedicated to supporting booksellers as a part of our shared mission to bring outstanding literature to readers in every language.”

In leading PowerHouse for 12 years, König has staged launches of books in many categories and genres, from politics and literature to food and pop culture, hosting authors including Al Gore, David Sedaris, Colum McCann, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Salman Rushdie, and Antje Rávic Strubel.

After spending her younger years in Germany, Belgium, and France—where she worked at
Sotheby’s and for French art book publishers—König moved to New York City in 2000 to represent German photobook publisher Steidl Verlag in the States.

She joined the publisher PowerHouse Books’ editorial staff. In 2005 she and her husband opened PowerHouse Arena, their first independent bookstore, followed by PowerHouse on 8th in 2013.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.

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