21 July 11 | Julianna Romanazzi | Comments

After a three day marathon of reading a seven-person panel of judges for the Festival of German-Language Literature announced Leif Randt as the winner of the Ernst Willner Prize for his novel Schimmernder Dunst uber CobyCounty (The Haze Over Coby County), translated by Stefan Tobler.

The Festival, formerly known as the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, takes place yearly in Klagenfurt, Austria as a publicized event and since 2006 has been endowed yearly with EUR 25,000 in prize money. It is currently one of the most important awards for German literature. Submissions to the competition must be previously unpublished and have their original language as German, and during the judging process competitors must convince the public, the jury and its auditors of the quality of their pieces.

As part of this year’s Festival, Leif Randt was awarded the Ernst Willner Prize, so named after one of the Festival’s founders, for his work which has since been published.Schimmernder Dunst tuber CobyCounty has since been accepted by the BerlinVerlag publishing house and will be out in print in August. The book is Randt’s second novel to be published and follows his promising first _Leuchtspielhaus (Luminous Playhouse) which appeared in 2009 and won the Nicolas Born Debut Prize.

10 June 08 | E.J. Van Lanen | Comments

This is why I love Eurozine:

Though still routinely referred to as Germans, Austrian novelists have experienced a recent run of critical and commercial success. The “difficult” prose of the past has been replaced by a focus on story-telling, with women writers producing no less interesting work in the genre than the new male “narrative miracles”. Yet experimentalism is by no means out: darkly humorous and self-referential “writer’s novels” are also booming. In the latest essay in Eurozine’s series “Literary Perpsectives”, critic Daniela Strigl surveys a contemporary Austrian scene at the top of its game.

There’s a lot to digest here, and a lot to check out.

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This Life
This Life by Karel Schoeman
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .

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A Dilemma
A Dilemma by Joris-Karl Hyusmans
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .

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Walker on Water
Walker on Water by Kristiina Ehin
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .

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The Nightwatches of Bonaventura
The Nightwatches of Bonaventura by Bonaventura
Reviewed by J. T. Mahany

Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .

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Pavane for a Dead Princess
Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-Gyu
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .

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Tram 83
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Reviewed by Caitlin Thomas

Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .

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Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic by Octave Mirbeau
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .

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