The German Book Prize Names Its 2023 Longlist

In News by Porter Anderson

The German Book Prize, with its 20-novel longlist released today, is to name its shortlist on September 19. The winner takes on €25,000.

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

‘A Pleasantly Undogmatic Relationship to the World’
Our readership is familiar with the €25,000 (US$27,107) German Book Prize for fiction, awarded by the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the foundation of Germany’s publishers and booksellers association.

Today (August 22), the program has announced the longlist of 20 titles in competition for this influential award.

Drawn from an initial submission load of 196 novels, it’s interesting to look at the large number of independent publishers represented here, among them Verlag Voland & Quist; Klett-Cotta with two longlisted novels; Vienna’s Picus Verlag; Wallstein Verlag; Zurich’s Diogenes Verlag; and Carl Hanser.

The 2023 German Book Prize Longlist

A shortlist in this year’s German Book Prize is expected to be named by the jury on September 19. Books eligible this year have been (or will be) published between October 2022 and September 19.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the German Book Prize in 2022 went to Kim de L’Horizon’s Blutbuch (Blood Book), published in July by DuMont Buchverlag, one of Germany’s key independent houses.

Blutbuch explores family secrets, as triggered by a grandmother’s dementia and told by a narrator who is sexually non-binary and experiencing a certain release in writing.

A shortlist in this year’s German Book Prize is expected to be named by the jury on September 19. Books eligible this year have been (or will be) published between October 2022 and September 19.

Katharina Teutsch

In a comment on the longlist announcement today, jury chair Katharina Teutsch is quoted, saying, “A longlist is not simply a list of titles that a jury finds deserving of an award. It represents a collective reading process. What drives us? What is important to us? What literary discoveries have we made?

“Our selection this year once again proves that contemporary German-language literature is full of surprises. Newcomers appear confidently alongside established authors; small presses alternate with large publishers; stories of tragical gravity stand next to fantastical escapades.

“Recognizing literary humor was also important to this year’s jury. What impressed us particularly about the selected titles at this moment in time is not only their narrative fuel but also the expression of a pleasantly undogmatic relationship to the world.”

The 2023 Jury

This year’s jury in the German Book Prize comprises:

  • Chair: Katharina Teutsch (independent critic)
  • Shila Behjat (journalist and publicist)
  • Heinz Drügh (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)
  • Melanie Muhl (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
  • Lisa Schumacher (bookshop “Steinmetz’sche Buchhandlung”, Offenbach)
  • Florian Valerius (bookshop “Gegenlicht Buchhandlung”, Trier)
  • Matthias Weichelt (Sense and Form literary journal)

In addition to the winning author’s €25,000 purse, each of the five finalists receives €2,500 (US$2,737).

A programming note: In the 2023 edition of our Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurter Buchmesse, we’ll welcome a group of diverse independent publishers from several markets and nations to compare and contrast the issues and challenges they see in the field of independent publishing this season. 

That session is set for 11 a.m. on Frankfurt Wednesday, October 18, in Room Spektrum, Level 2 at the Messe Frankfurt Congress Center. More information is here.

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.

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.