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Book Prize Titelbild

German Book Prize 2020

The German Book Prize, established in 2005, is awarded annually to honour the best German-language novel of the year. Seven jurors start by selecting 20 of the titles submitted for the Book Prize. Next, the jurors narrow down the long list, choosing six titles for the short list.

Single title

Halbbart

Halfbeard / Halbbart

Sebi wasn’t made for working in the fields or for life as a soldier. He much prefers listening to and...

Sebi wasn’t made for working in the fields or for life as a soldier. He much prefers listening to and inventing stories. In the year 1313, life for someone like him isn’t easy, in a rural Swiss village where the gravedigger’s hoe can be heard daily, and angels are barely distinguishable from demons. But from Halfbeard, a stranger from a distant region, the boy discovers both the good and the bad in humanity – and how to make the most of oneself even in difficult times.

Charles Lewinsky, born in Zurich in 1946, has been a freelance writer since 1980. He won international renown with his novel Melnitz, which was awarded numerous prizes, including the French ›Prix du meilleur livre étranger‹ and the German ›Schiller Foundation Prize‹. Charles Lewinsky lives in Vereux (France) in the summer, and in Zurich in the winter.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-257-07136-8
Author:
Charles Lewinsky
Pages:
688
Format:
H 18.40 cm / W 11.60
Price:
€26.00
Streulicht

Sky Glow. Novel / Streulicht

tells a story of class and origin without pithy slogans, of discrimination and contempt and their effects on the...

tells a story of class and origin without pithy slogans, of discrimination and contempt and their effects on the individual. The book talks about social shame, societal constraints and inequality, but at the same time it is a novel about a young woman’s self-empowerment, despite all adversities.

Industrial snow marks the village limits, a subtle acidity is in the air, and behind the bridge whirrs the production hall where the father pickles aluminium sheets day in, day out. This is where the first-person narrator grew up, this is where she returns to when her childhood friends get married. And while she walks the familiar paths, she remembers: the father and the blind grandfather who barely talk, don’t want any change and are unable to throw anything away to the point where not just the personal chattels but also the suppressed memories bulge out. Memories of the mother, whose desire for freedom was suffocating in the constraints of a West-German working class flat until she packed her bags in a burst of rebellion and left her daughter with her drinking father. Memories of leaving school early and the effort of making up what she had missed in a second attempt, of the shame and the fear – first of not passing, then of being put back in her place as someone who had climbed.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-518-42963-1
Author:
Deniz Ohde
Pages:
284
Format:
H 21.40 cm / W 13.40
Price:
€22.00
Allegro Pastell

Allegro Pastel / Allegro Pastell

Tanja Arnheim, whose debut novel enjoys cult status, is turning 30 in a few weeks. Looking out onto Berlin’s Hasenheide...

Tanja Arnheim, whose debut novel enjoys cult status, is turning 30 in a few weeks. Looking out onto Berlin’s Hasenheide park, she waits for an earth-shattering idea for her new book. Her boyfriend, the sought-after web designer Jerome Daimler, is in his mid-30s and lives in his parents’ bungalow in the countryside. Increasingly, he’s trying to understand his life as spiritual contemplation. Despite their long-distance relationship, Tanja and Jerome always stay close through texts and images. And they visit each other in their respective realities for long weekends: Their relationship is an attempt to be there for – but not lost to – each other. Their parents, friends and depressed siblings reflect a suffering to which Tanja and Jerome largely remain immune. Yet the desire to preserve their affection without letting it grow staid or painfully existential poses a major challenge for the couple. Allegro Pastell is the story of a seemingly normal love and its transformations. A novel in three phases that begins in the recordbreakingly hot spring of 2018.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-462-05358-6
Author:
Leif Randt
Pages:
288
Format:
H 20.90 cm / W 13.00
Price:
€22.00
Herzklappen Cover

Heart Valves by Johnson & Johnson / Herzklappen von Johnson & Johnson

Due to a genetic defect, Alma and Friedrich’s baby is unable to feel pain. In constant worry about their son...

Due to a genetic defect, Alma and Friedrich’s baby is unable to feel pain. In constant worry about their son Emil, it’s mainly Alma who incessantly checks that his body is unharmed. Every night she palpates Emil’s body so as not to overlook any wounds and there is nothing the young mother fears more than an invisible injury to an organ that goes unnoticed. Alma finds support with her grandmother who, old and bedridden and after a life of staying silent, now begins to talk: about growing up during the war, about escaping, hunger and about grandfather being a prisoner of war. With the child that knows no pain on her lap, Alma sits at the bedside of the gravely ill woman who wishes for nothing more than to overcome her own pain. In her grandmother’s stories Alma finds an explanation for those seemingly unfounded feelings of guilt, of powerlessness and forlornness that have accompanied her all her life. Retracing the grandfather’s steps, Alma, Friedrich and Emil travel as far as Kazakhstan. How does a child become a person, a compassionate social being, if it doesn’t know vulnerability? If it doesn’t understand how much something can hurt? In powerful images Valerie Fritsch talks about a trauma that continues to have an effect across generations. She explores the vulnerability of humans and asks about the nature of empathy that determines everybody’s life.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-518-42917-4
Author:
Valerie Fritsch
Pages:
174
Format:
H 21.50 cm / W 13.40
Price:
€22.00
Male Cover

Malé

All attempts to save the Maldives from the rising sea level have failed. Package tours have moved on to new...

All attempts to save the Maldives from the rising sea level have failed. Package tours have moved on to new destinations, and the majority of the island’s inhabitants have been forced to leave. At the same time, the seedy capital of Malé has become a mecca for all the People searching for alternatives to life in the gentrified cities of the west. And so, for the short while before it is submerged, the island becomes a space for the visions of drop-outs, adventurers and utopians, a place suspended between euphoria and nightmares where new forms of solidarity are tested and people vanish without a trace.

In Malé, Roman Ehrlich captures the complex moods of our time and weaves the stories of his characters’ yearnings and failures into a tapestry of all the contradictions that make up life at the start of the 21st century.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-10-397221-4
Author:
Roman Ehrlich
Pages:
288
Format:
H 20.90 cm / W 13.00
Price:
€22.00
Goldene Jahre Cover

Golden Years / Goldene Jahre

For 51 years Margrit and Rosa-Maria have been running their kiosk including gas pump and neon sign. Margrit and Rosa-Maria...

For 51 years Margrit and Rosa-Maria have been running their kiosk including gas pump and neon sign. Margrit and Rosa-Maria are the central point in the village. Everyone comes to Margrit and Rosa-Maria's place and they've seen it all, fancy cars and old mopeds, the Tour de Suisse and celebrities from the boulevard, swindlers who tried to rip them off and movie stars. But what they like best are the lovers and the newly in love couples. With Margrit and Rosa-Maria, what the heart desires goes over the shelf, and in return they hear what moves the hearts of their customers. Arno Camenisch tells of a world in transition with a lot of humor and great love - and as long as Margrit and Rosa-Maria operate their kiosk with neon signs and gas pump, the world remains a wonderfully beautiful and bright place.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-906050-36-2
Author:
Arno Camenisch
Pages:
101
Format:
18,5 x 12 cm
Price:
€19.00
Serpentinen Cover

Serpentinen

A father is taking his son on a road trip. Their journey takes them back to the hilly countryside where...

A father is taking his son on a road trip. Their journey takes them back to the hilly countryside where the father grew up. The house he was born in, the church his parents were married in, the cemetery where his friend is buried. A permanent travelcompanion are the specters of his male ancestors, all of whom took their own lives: "Great-grandfather, grand father, father. Drowned, shot, hanged." Through this journey, the father realises that his own life choices have not broken the cycle, nor did they bring salvation. As his last resort, he re turns to where it all begun, hopeful that re mem ber ing will help. Because all he knows is: if

you go back, you cannot cut corners. You must take all the turns again, if he wants to put an end to his family’s dark history.

Bov Bjerg is one of Germany’s most important contemporary writers. His new novel tells of a father's struggle against the demons of the past. Only if he loves his son the way he was never loved, their journey can succeed.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-546-10003-8
Author:
Bov Bjerg
Pages:
272
Format:
H 18.70 cm / B 12.00
Price:
€22.70
Die Infantin

The Infanta Parts Her Hair on the Left / Die Infantin trägt den Scheitel links

When she, the youngest daughter, the delicate child, burns down her parents’ farm house it’s not just a mistake, it...

When she, the youngest daughter, the delicate child, burns down her parents’ farm house it’s not just a mistake, it is self-defence. An act of self-assertion against the impositions of growing up under the reign of her parents, a sanctimonious, bigoted mother and a father with a fatal inclination to alcohol, pyrotechnics and esoteric arts. Not to mention the older twin sisters, two princesses on ice out of a bad fairy tale, who are really hard on her, the infanta in farming boots, whenever they can. And of course you can count on the appearance of huntsman, priest and mayor in this idyll of heyloft and homeland, painted in the most beautiful colours of hell, where the going gets tougher and more hearty than ever.

This book is a beacon, it’s like having fireworks after Judgement Day and begging for a beating.

The stories it tells are just incredible. Gaudy, crude, plain, snotty and tough like country life after the village fair and before morning mass. A most serious affair and big fun too!

Helena Adler, born 1983 in Oberndorf near Salzburg. She studied painting at the Mozarteum as well as psychology and phiosophy at the University of Salzburg. Various exhibitions and art events, publications in anthologies and literary magazins. Lives near Salzburg.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-3-99027-242-8
Author:
Helena Adler
Pages:
192
Format:
H 19.00 cm / B 12.00
Price:
€20.00
Die Dame mit der bemahlten Hand

The Lady with the Painted Hand / Die Dame mit der bemalten Hand

Bombay, 1764. India was not on the travel plan and Elephanta, that shaggy island full of snakes and goats and...

Bombay, 1764. India was not on the travel plan and Elephanta, that shaggy island full of snakes and goats and caves with the strange figures on the walls, certainly not. But as an explorer when it comes to »biblical clarity«, there is a strong case to the strangest places. Carsten Niebuhr from the Bremen region is stranded here, whereas he ought to be in Arabia. Also master Musa, Persian astrolabe farmer from Jaipur, even though he wanted to be in Mecca. One speaks Arabic with each other, enough to make the few days until their rescue. To misunderstand East-West and be friendly to argue about constellations (because where the one recognizes a woman, the other one sees only her painted hand). It could all have been a fever dream, by the way. But that’s in the stars.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-946334-76-7
Author:
Christine Wunnicke
Pages:
168
Format:
H 20.00 cm / B 13.40
Price:
€22.00
Die Unschärfe

The Blurriness of the World / Die Unschärfe der Welt

Iris Wolff tells the eventful history of a family from the Banat region in Eastern Europe, whose ties are so...

Iris Wolff tells the eventful history of a family from the Banat region in Eastern Europe, whose ties are so closely knit that they do not break, even across borders. A novel about how loss and new beginnings are linked. Would Florentine and Hannes have opened their door to the two young travellers even if they had guessed what role the visit from the GDR would play later in the life of the family in the Banat region? Would Samuel have given his best friend his full support even if he had understood the extent of his decision? In ›The Blurriness of the World‹, the lives of seven people, seven relatives of choice, are connected, and despite strokes of fate and geographical distances, they keep converging incessantly. Against the background of the collapsing Eastern Bloc and the eventful history of the 20th century, this is a great novel about friendship and what we are prepared to give up for the happiness of another. Artistically and with great precision, Iris Wolff explores the possibilities and limits of language and memory – and tells about who we are, seen through the eyes of the others.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-608-98326-5
Author:
Iris Wolff
Pages:
216
Format:
H 21.60 cm / W 13.80
Price:
€20.00
Bis wieder einer weint

END IN TEARS / Bis wieder einer weint

The saga of the Rautenberg family and its downfall is a panoramic story of national scope. At the time when...

The saga of the Rautenberg family and its downfall is a panoramic story of national scope. At the time when Wilhelm and Inga first set eyes on each other, Konrad Adenauer is the chancellor of Germany. The beautiful Inga, a doctor’s daughter, meets Wilhelm, a successful equestrian whose mid-sized company is about to become a world market leader. The two are a dream couple. But a few months after the birth of their second child, Inga dies of leukaemia. The younger daughter is raised by Inga’s parents while the elder daughter stays with Wilhelm.

As a way of fleeing the constraints of the local church community and his severe mother, Wilhelm decides to build a secluded house far away from the nearest neighbour, riding school, swimming pool or tennis court. The house is ready just as the new school year starts and the time has come after seven years – just like in a fairy tale – to bring his younger daughter back home. But what happens next is not what Wilhelm expects. His company is in crisis, and the locals gossip about the scandalous Rautenberg family history. Wilhelm’s daughter, the narrator, is forced to find a way to overcome her loneliness and find a path towards a fulfilling life.

Eva Sichelschmidt was born in the green belt surrounding the Ruhr area. She moved to Berlin in 1989 to work as a costume designer for film and opera before opening a made-to-measure studio and a shop called Whisky and Cigars that gained fame across the city. Her first novel, Die Ruhe weg, was published in 2017. She lives in Rome and Berlin.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-498-06293-4
Author:
Eva Sichelschmidt
Pages:
480
Format:
H 22.00 cm / B 15.00
Price:
€22.00
Eintausend Serpentinen Angst

1.000 Coils of Fear / 1000 Serpentinen Angst

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-10-397406-5
Author:
Olivia Wenzel
Pages:
352
Format:
H 21.00 cm / B 13.20
Price:
€21.00
Triceratops

Triceratops

A young boy draws monsters in his exercise books and refers to himself as ‘we’. His mother has been sectioned...

A young boy draws monsters in his exercise books and refers to himself as ‘we’. His mother has been sectioned and washes down neuroleptics with unsweetened fruit tea. His evangelical father only ever cooks sausages and his sister drifts around the house like a ghost. The boy’s only close friends are his Aschbach nan from Lower Austria and, later, Helix with the blue hair, who skateboards into his life. One day, disaster strikes and turns the world of the ‘we’ and his entire family upside down.

Stephan Roiss uses harsh cuts and vivid images to tell the story of an unnamed protagonist trying to escape trauma and loneliness. An intense novel that continues to reverberate long after you finish it.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-218-01229-4
Author:
Stephan Roiss
Pages:
208
Format:
H 20.00 cm / W 12.00
Price:
€20.00
Aus der Zuckerfabrik

Aus der Zuckerfabrik

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-446-26750-3
Author:
Dorothee Elmiger
Pages:
272
Format:
H 21.00 cm / B 13.50
Price:
€23.00
Inniger Schiffbruch

Sweet Shipwreck / Inniger Schiffbruch

Dealing with his father’s death, Frank Witzel evokes memories of his childhood when television was still an essential part of...

Dealing with his father’s death, Frank Witzel evokes memories of his childhood when television was still an essential part of early evenings. A childhood full of disciplinary measures such as grounding, record and tv bans, parents whounwittingly passed on to their kids the dread of a self-endured separation as a constant threat. A childhood in which a Sunday is clearly structured, the apron dress is part of the housewife’s essentials and the fairy tale »Peterchens Mondfahrt / Little Peter‘s Journey to the Moon«, thought up by adults, is a horror scenario just like Mainz carnival. How much individual and collective experience are mutually dependent? Witzel doesn‘t find the answers when he looks at the staged photos from the family album »Our Child« but when he picks up the discarded shots by asking himself if these aren’t the ones which tell what really happened. In constant doubt about the truth of his own memories Frank Witzel once more turns out to be an approachable and highly gifted narrator, who succeeds in capturing the state of post war society in the newly established Federal Republic of Germany through a personal angle.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-95757-838-9
Author:
Frank Witzel
Pages:
360
Price:
€25.00
Annette

Epic Annette / Annette, ein Heldinnenepos

The incredible life of a true heroe of the 20th century...

The incredible life of a true heroe of the 20th century

What a life! Born in 1923 in Brittany, member of the communist youth Organisation and of the résistance during the Second World War, Annette de Beaumanoir saved two Jewish kids and received from Yad Vashem the distinction of the „Righteous Among the Nations“. Because of her participation in the Algerian war, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She broke free after an incredible escape, was part of the Ben Bella governement before fleeing again to Switzerland this time where she works as a neurologist. The epic life of Anne Beaumanoir is brillantly told by the French-German author Anne Weber and gives the reader the reassurance that true heroes still exist.

Anne Weber, Born in 1964 in Germany, lives in Paris. She always writes her books in two both languages, German and French, and has translated numerous French authors into German.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-95757-845-7
Author:
Anne Weber
Pages:
208
Format:
H 20.50 cm / W 12.50
Price:
€22.00