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Longlist German Book Prize-2022

German Book Prize 2022 Longlist #dbp22

“The great questions of our time are reverberating in contemporary Germanlanguage 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 over 200 titles and more submissions than ever before, we have 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.” Jury spokesperson Miriam Zeh

Single title

Blutbuch

Blutbuch / Blood book

The narrator of "Blutbuch" does not identify as either male or female. Raised in a shabby Swiss suburb, they have...

The narrator of "Blutbuch" does not identify as either male or female. Raised in a shabby Swiss suburb, they have escaped the narrow structures of their origins and now live contentedly in their non-binary body and own sexuality in Zurich. But then their grandmother develops dementia and the "I" begins to grapple with the past. An act of liberation from the things we carry forward unasked: gender, trauma and class.

Jury evaluation

In the life of Kim, the non-binary main character of this novel, the copper beech ("Blutbuche", or "blood beech", in German) in the garden is both origin and vanishing point. The tree was planted when their grandmother – "Großmeer" ("great sea"), as she is called in Bernese German – was born. As a child, Kim risks drowning in the sea of this larger-than-life figure, who also holds a magical fascination for them. When dementia robs Großmeer of her knowledge and dominance, Kim begins to form their own language: for identity and physicality and for origins and influences. Since there is no straight path in this jumble, the novel cannot be linear in form. Experimental and daring, it is suddenly crude and obscene one moment and subtle and intense the next. A touching and moving novel that uses surprising narrative levels and perspectives.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-8321-8208-3
Author:
Kim de l'Horizon
Price:
€ 24.00
dschinns

Dschinns

After working in Germany for 30 years, Hüseyin finally realises his dream of owning a flat in Istanbul – only...

After working in Germany for 30 years, Hüseyin finally realises his dream of owning a flat in Istanbul – only to die of a heart attack on the day he moves in. His family from Germany follows in his wake to attend the funeral. Fatma Aydemir tells the story of six fundamentally different people who happen to be related to each other – and of the insatiable longing to be understood.

Jury evaluation

Hüseyin Yilmaz was a first-generation "Gastarbeiter" ("guest worker") in West Germany. After slaving away non-stop for 30 years, he dies at the moment when his dream of retiring to his very own flat in Istanbul has finally come true. His death brings together his family, some of whose members have fallen out with each other, in this flat – with all their fears, hopes and despair. Aydemir reveals their secrets meticulously and with sensitivity. The individual family members’ perspectives show that, despite the differences that separate the generations, they are close to each other as regards one thing, at least: a feeling of homelessness. "Dschinns" combines questions of identity, gender and origins with the themes of racism and discrimination, while also taking on an aspect of recent German history that has barely been addressed in literature before.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-446-26914-9
Author:
Fatma Aydemir
Pages:
368
Price:
€ 24.00
Luegen-ueber-meine-mutter

Lügen über meine Mutter / Lies about my mother

A childhood in the 1980s dominated by one topic: the narrator’s mother’s body weight. Is this beautiful, headstrong, unpredictable woman...

A childhood in the 1980s dominated by one topic: the narrator’s mother’s body weight. Is this beautiful, headstrong, unpredictable woman too fat? Does she urgently need to lose weight? Yes, her husband decides, she does. He is obsessed that his wife’s excess weight is to blame for everything he can’t get: a promotion, social advancement, recognition in the small-town community. Though subjected to this day after day, the mother never stops fighting to be the master of her own life.

Jury evaluation

Hunsrück, mid-1980s, a woman’s life in provincial Germany. The daughter of Silesian refugees, she had hoped for more from life, but her career-driven husband now controls everything: the household finances, daily fights and her overweight body, of which even her own child is ashamed. When the mother squanders her inheritance in a bizarre act of self-defence and locks out the master of the house, the façade of this petty bourgeois, upwardly mobile family finally crumbles once and for all. Daniela Dröscher presents her literary microsociological account, interspersed with essayistic parentheses, from the child’s perspective. The story of the mother’s sorrow, no longer beyond dreams, only ends when a new game begins – that of her own family.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-462-00199-0
Author:
Daniela Dröscher
Pages:
448
Price:
€ 24.00
nebenan

Nebenan / Next door

A small town on the Kiel Canal, at the intersection of nature, county town and industry. A family disappears right...

A small town on the Kiel Canal, at the intersection of nature, county town and industry. A family disappears right out of everyday life without a trace. Their abandoned house becomes the focus of all their neighbours’ thoughts. Circling each other like strangers, seemingly unnoticed by those closest to them, the neighbours want connection yet withdraw into their own private spheres. Their paths cross and their stories intersect, for they are searching for what we all long for: security, belonging and intimacy.

Jury evaluation

The ceramic artist Julia is in a loving relationship but desperately longs for a child. Astrid, a mother of three grown sons, is ready to retire gradually from her professional life as a doctor. Through the fates of two women in provincial northern German, Kristine Bilkau masterfully shows the abysses that lurk in seemingly everyday lives. The power of this subtly narrated novel lies in the details and small tipping points – between fertility clinics and mothers that have disappeared, forgotten, dreamlike landscapes and illegal rubbish dumps, between stagnation and change. Again and again, the seemingly solid ground is pulled out from under the feet not only of the characters in the book but also of its readers. Yet "Nebenan" also bears witness to the fact that a life without trust is bound to fail.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-630-87519-4
Author:
Kristine Bilkau
Pages:
288
Price:
€ 22.00
Spitzweg

Spitzweg

“I never cared much for art.” Revealing himself as a contented philistine at the outset, the narrator reports on how...

“I never cared much for art.” Revealing himself as a contented philistine at the outset, the narrator reports on how Carl, an admired friend, convinces him otherwise thanks to his enthusiasm for the artist Spitzweg. When his passion goes so far that he doesn’t even balk at committing a crime, their friendship, which dates back to their school days, is put to its most difficult test. A dramatic search begins.

Jury evaluation

With his novel "Spitzweg", Eckhart Nickel achieves something great: what begins as a story about schoolchildren turns into a masterful reflection on the relationship between art and life. He very deliberately grapples with aesthetic questions and, by turning the reader into a student, renders even complex discourses comprehensible. With linguistic confidence and great irony, "Spitzweg" plays with exaggerated erudition, convoluted sentence structures and a seemingly antiquated vocabulary. Despite its philosophical depth, the novel is extremely fast paced and even has comedic passages. A great delight to read, this intelligent book shows us another way culture can be discussed.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-492-07143-7
Author:
Eckhart Nickel
Pages:
256
Price:
€ 22.00
Trottel

Trottel / Bungler

The life of a self-proclaimed bungler, as told by himself. His stint as a student of computer science in Prague...

The life of a self-proclaimed bungler, as told by himself. His stint as a student of computer science in Prague is short-lived. After a memorable encounter with the "Teutonic horde", which includes his future wife, he moves to East Berlin, immerses himself in the weird, political underground scene in Prenzlauer Berg, starts a family and experiences the East German doctrine and post-reunification years. But all these memories are shot through with darkness: the trace of the son who will choose suicide at the age of 33 and whose death will make everything come unhinged.

Jury evaluation

Jan Faktor’s novel "Trottel" combines contemporary history and the story of one person’s life in a very distinctive way: it describes an outsider’s path from Prague to Berlin, from worker in a real-life socialist system to writer engaged in literary mourning. The loss of a son lies at the heart of the novel. Faktor pulls off the great feat of generating humour through a story about grief. He takes aim at both former East Germany and present-day West Germany, at the literary scene and, last but not least, at his narrator’s self-avowed "bungling". The result is a provocative, sometimes disturbing picaresque novel about the question of "whether a bungler can be happy in life". It is a book that also criticises our society, mercilessly but very helpfully.

Nominated for the shortlist 2022

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-462-00085-6
Author:
Jan Faktor
Pages:
400
Price:
€ 24.00
ein-sommer-in-niendorf

Ein Sommer in Niendorf / A Summer in Niendorf

A bourgeois hero, a lawyer and writer named Roth, goes to Niendorf for a longer break: he wants to write...

A bourgeois hero, a lawyer and writer named Roth, goes to Niendorf for a longer break: he wants to write an important book, a reckoning with his family. At the carefully chosen location, however, he soon falls into the clutches of a demonic spirit: a beach chair hirer. The third person to join him is his girlfriend, a non-dream woman in every respect - actually. And at the end of this summer story, Roth has completely lost his old world, he is a completely different person.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-498-00292-3
Author:
Heinz Strunk
Pages:
240
Price:
€ 22.00
eine-liebe-in-pjoengjang

Eine Liebe in Pjöngjang / A love affair in Pyongyang

North Korea, mon amour. Strong feelings are actually foreign to Claudia Aebischer. At the head of a delegation of young...

North Korea, mon amour. Strong feelings are actually foreign to Claudia Aebischer. At the head of a delegation of young cultural workers, the fifty-year-old is travelling to Pyongyang for the last time. But shortly after crossing the Chinese border, she is confronted with an apparition that awakens an old longing in her. An encounter that makes everything new and different - does that exist? The phenomenon, as Claudia learns, has a name. Sunmi is a Germanist, interpreter and DPRK agent.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-498-00293-0
Author:
Andreas Stichmann
Pages:
160
Price:
€ 20.00
phlox

Phlox

It is the last time Richard Sparka will travel with his family to the beloved childhood paradise of Schmogrow in...

It is the last time Richard Sparka will travel with his family to the beloved childhood paradise of Schmogrow in the Oderbruch. After the death of the Tatziets, who for decades made the house and garden, the village and the surrounding area a holiday idyll and haven of real life, the house is demolished and the land sold. In reminiscences and enquiries, Richard investigates Schmogrow's happiness and discovers that much in the self-sufficient paradise close to nature also has dark features.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-406-79308-0
Author:
Jochen Schmidt
Pages:
479
Price:
€ 25.00
Kangal

Kangal

Dilek and Tekin are a young couple in Istanbul. Not only since July 2016 has the city changed for them,...

Dilek and Tekin are a young couple in Istanbul. Not only since July 2016 has the city changed for them, too. When Dilek boards a plane years later, her boyfriend knows nothing about it, no one is supposed to know that she, who is called "Kangal" online, will soon be landing in Frankfurt. Ayla is surprised when her cousin Dilek contacts her; their summers together were a long time ago. And while Tekin is searching in Istanbul, Ayla wonders: Who is Dilek today?

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-10-397081-4
Author:
Anna Yeliz Schentke
Pages:
208
Price:
€ 21.00
formen-des-nichtseins

153 Formen des Nichtseins / 153 Forms of Non-Being

Ksenia is Russian, she is German, she is Jewish, she grew up among Jehovah's Witnesses, she is a young woman,...

Ksenia is Russian, she is German, she is Jewish, she grew up among Jehovah's Witnesses, she is a young woman, mother, writer and scientist - she is all of these things and none of them at the same time. In exploring her own identity pluralism, she collects Ebay ads that contain the word "Russian", observes Israeli relatives on Facebook, visits Arab shops and recalls again and again a traumatic childhood state of disorientation and foreign determination.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-946120-94-0
Author:
Slata Roschal
Pages:
176
Price:
€ 22.00
in-dschungeln

In Dschungeln. In Wüsten. Im Krieg. / In Jungles. In Deserts. In War.

A reporter hears from the radio about the violent death of the famous British war photographer Tim H*** in Libya....

A reporter hears from the radio about the violent death of the famous British war photographer Tim H*** in Libya. Not long before, she had travelled with him in the civil war country of Liberia. So she tells of his life and of his death, but also of her own experiences in various places, in Afghanistan and in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, in the interior of Mongolia and in the Caucasus. Their experiences are mixed with images and descriptions of the world that attempt to interpret our global present.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-8477-0447-8
Author:
Gabriele Riedle
Pages:
264
Price:
€ 44.00
dagegen-die-elefanten

Dagegen die Elefanten! / The elephants, on the other hand!

Mr Harald is the man in the dressing room. He belongs to the theatre like the curtain, but the limelight...

Mr Harald is the man in the dressing room. He belongs to the theatre like the curtain, but the limelight is for others. One evening a coat is left behind in which Mr Harald finds a pistol. What does he want to do with it? He can hardly defend himself against everything that seems an imposition to him about the world and his fellow human beings. But perhaps he can draw their attention to someone who, like him, leads a shadowy existence: the woman who turns the pages of the music for someone else and whom he adores from afar.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-99027-262-6
Author:
Dagmar Leupold
Pages:
272
Price:
€ 23.00
rombo

Rombo

In May and September 1976, two severe earthquakes shake a landscape and its population in north-eastern Italy. Around a thousand...

In May and September 1976, two severe earthquakes shake a landscape and its population in north-eastern Italy. Around a thousand people die under the rubble, tens of thousands are left without shelter, many will leave their homes forever. Seven inhabitants of a remote mountain village tell of their lives, in which the earthquake has left deep traces that they are slowly learning to name.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-518-43057-6
Author:
Esther Kinsky
Pages:
267
Price:
€ 24.00
geschichte-eines-kindes

Geschichte eines Kindes / Story of a child

In 1953, a twenty-year-old telephone operator gives birth to a child in a small town in the USA. That same...

In 1953, a twenty-year-old telephone operator gives birth to a child in a small town in the USA. That same night, she gives the child up for adoption. Soon the nurses in charge of the child are confronted with what they see as serious suspicions: The baby does not seem to be "white", contrary to the mother's statement. A social worker is to determine the child's true ethnic origin. To do this, however, she has to find the child's father, whose identity the birth mother does not want to reveal.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-518-43056-9
Author:
Anna Kim
Pages:
220
Price:
€ 23.00
Wilderer

Wilderer / Poacher

Jakob grows up in a traditional world in Upper Austria and assumes responsibility for the farm at an early age....

Jakob grows up in a traditional world in Upper Austria and assumes responsibility for the farm at an early age. The father is a fantasist and the grandmother threatens to bequeath the "Jew money" to the "right-wing party", as she says. The sister sits idly by and lets herself be waited on. Only when he meets Katja, an artist from the city, does everything seem to take a turn for the better. But Jakob's indomitable anger flares up again and again. He asks himself: would he be a different person if he had grown up somewhere else?

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-10-397104-0
Author:
Reinhard Kaiser-Mühlecker
Pages:
352
Price:
€ 24.00
ein-simpler-eingriff

Ein simpler Eingriff / A Simple Operation

Meret is a nurse. The clinic is her home, she wears her uniform with pride, after all no one knows...

Meret is a nurse. The clinic is her home, she wears her uniform with pride, after all no one knows people in their suffering as well as she does. Until one day a new kind of procedure is developed that is supposed to free women in particular from psychological suffering. The after-effects of the procedure can be painful, but afterwards the healing begins. Meret holds fast to this belief, even though she is beginning to have her first doubts.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-446-27231-6
Author:
Yael Inokai
Pages:
192
Price:
€ 22.00
aufruhr-der-meerestiere

Aufruhr der Meerestiere / Turmoil of the sea creatures

Luise is smart, Luise is independent, Luise is an island. As a marine biologist, Luise has earned herself an excellent...

Luise is smart, Luise is independent, Luise is an island. As a marine biologist, Luise has earned herself an excellent reputation, her speciality: the sea walnut, a ghostly illuminated jellyfish in the darkness of the oceans. When Luise is asked to travel to Graz for a project with a renowned zoo, she doesn't hesitate for long. But Graz, that is also her hometown, that is the home of her absent and suddenly ill father. And this is the story of years of speechlessness and strangeness between them.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-630-87562-0
Author:
Marie Gamillscheg
Pages:
304
Price:
€ 22.00
auf-see

Auf See / At Sea

The world is ending, but Yada comes of age on an island off the German mainland that was meant to...

The world is ending, but Yada comes of age on an island off the German mainland that was meant to be a refuge from the collapse of society. In the years since its founding, its shine has faded, algae and moss overgrow the once mirror-like surfaces. And Yada makes a discovery one day that shakes everything. Theresia Enzensberger's novel tells of the utopian promises of new communities and happiness in the face of doom.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-446-27397-9
Author:
Theresia Enzensberger
Pages:
272
Price:
€ 24.00
freudenberg

Freudenberg

17-year-old Freudenberg has longings and dreams - but he lacks the words to make himself understood. So others make the...

17-year-old Freudenberg has longings and dreams - but he lacks the words to make himself understood. So others make the decisions for him. During a family holiday, he has the chance to leave his alienated life behind: He finds the body of a boy on a deserted stretch of beach. Freudenberg swaps clothes, wallets and identity cards, stages his own death and assumes a new identity. But his new-found freedom soon overwhelms him.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-942375-65-8
Author:
Carl-Christian Elze
Pages:
176
Price:
€ 24.00
Date:
Further Information