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 Submissions to the competition must be previously unpublished and have their original language as German, and during the judging process competitors must convince the public, the jury and its auditors of the quality of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.
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 The “difficult” prose of the past has been replaced by a focus on story-telling, with women writers producing no less interesting work in the genre than the new male “narrative miracles”.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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