The German Book Prize Releases Its 20-Title Longlist

In News by Porter Anderson

Drawn from 233 books, this year’s German Book Prize longlist highlights ‘both established authors and many lesser-known’ voices.

The German Book Prize 2022 jury comprises, from left, Selma Wels, Uli Ormanns, Erich Klein, Miriam Zeh, Frank Menden, Isabelle Vonlanthen, and Jan Wiele. Image: Börsenverein,

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

Zeh: ‘The Great Questions of Our Time’
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the German Book Prize is the German market’s top fiction award, and this morning (August 23), it has issued its longlist for 2022.

The winner receives prize money of €25,000 (US$24,855). The five finalists each receive €2,500 (US$2,485). This awards program is made possible by the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the foundation of Germany’s publishers and booksellers association.

The longlist has been chosen from an initial pool of 233 books from at least 124 publishers. The jurors then select six titles for the shortlist, which is scheduled to be released in less than a month, on September 20.

Those six authors will only find out which of them has won the German Book Prize on the evening of the award ceremony itself, October 17, in the Kaisersaal of the Römer in Frankfurt. That ceremony by tradition of course is held in conjunction with Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23).

In a prepared statement for today’s news, the jury chair, Miriam Zeh, is quoted, saying, “The great questions of our time are reverberating in contemporary German-language literature: questions about origins and identity, about the forms and future of our coexistence. They can unfold in the German or Austrian provinces no less than in Kabul or Pyongyang, in an impending dystopia or in the real historical East Berlin before the fall of the wall.

“From more than 200 titles and more submissions than ever before, we’ve chosen epic narratives, linguistically innovative poetic cascades, and formal experiments that break with classical and realistic forms of the novel.

“We selected our longlist based on various criteria, just as the jury brings together perspectives from literary promotion and criticism. Both established authors and many lesser-known and younger voices have been nominated for the German Book Prize 2022. And if this means bringing these diverse novels to a curious reading public, we will be all the more delighted.”

This year’s jury was earlier announced to comprise:

  • Erich Klein, freelance critic based in Vienna
  • Frank Menden of the Hamburg bookstore named Stories
  • Uli Ormanns of Cologne’s Agnes bookstore
  • Isabelle Vonlanthen of Literature House Zurich
  • Selma Wels, curator and moderator in Frankfurt
  • Jan Wiele of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Miriam Zeh of Deutschlandfunk Kultur
The German Book Prize 2022 Longlist

  • Fatma Aydemir: Dschinns (Carl Hanser, February 2022)
  • Kristine Bilkau: Nebenan (Luchterhand, March 2022)
  • Daniela Dröscher: Lügen über meine Mutter (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, August 2022)
  • Carl-Christian Elze: Freudenberg (edition AZUR, February 2022)
  • Theresia Enzensberger: Auf See (Carl Hanser, August 2022)
  • Jan Faktor: Trottel (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, September 2022)
  • Marie Gamillscheg: Aufruhr der Meerestiere (Luchterhand, March 2022)
  • Kim de l’Horizon: Blutbuch (DuMont, July 2022)
  • Yael Inokai: Ein simpler Eingriff (Hanser Berlin, February 2022)
  • Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker: Wilderer (S. Fischer, March 2022)
  • Anna Kim: Geschichte eines Kindes (Suhrkamp, August 2022)
  • Esther Kinsky: Rombo (Suhrkamp, February 2022)
  • Dagmar Leupold: Dagegen die Elefanten! (Jung und Jung, February 2022)
  • Eckhart Nickel: Spitzweg (Piper, April 2022)
  • Gabriele Riedle: In Dschungeln. In Wüsten. Im Krieg. (Die Andere Bibliothek, March 2022)
  • Slata Roschal: 153 Formen des Nichtseins (homunculus, February 2022)
  • Anna Yeliz Schentke: Kangal (S. Fischer, March 2022)
  • Jochen Schmidt: Phlox (C.H.Beck, September 2022)
  • Andreas Stichmann: Eine Liebe in Pjöngjang (Rowohlt, March 2022)
  • Heinz Strunk: Ein Sommer in Niendorf (Rowohlt, June 2022)

Antje Rávik Strubel, as you’ll remember, won the 2021 edition of the prestigious honor in October for Blaue Frau (Blue Woman, S. Fischer Verlage, August 2021). Each year, a new jury is installed by the German Book Prize Academy to help maintain the selection process’ independence. Multiple stints of jury service are permitted.

Our readers in Germany may want to know of a series of events around the longlist, including “blind date readings” with nominated authors. You can find full information about those activities here. And a complete listing of the longlist with information on each title is here.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 146th awards report published in the 155 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the German Book Prize is here, and on publishing and book awards in general is here. More on the German book market is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.