The longlist for the 2007 German Book Prize was announced yesterday. (See the full list after the jump.)
Here’s what spokesperson for the judges, Felicitas von Lovenberg had to say about the selection of these 20 books from the 117 submitted titles:
“Without allowing ourselves to be seduced by celebrity or distracted by the pressure of originality, we have chosen twenty titles that reflect the unusual diversity and vitality in German-language literature as it presents itself this autumn in particular.”
Good to know that they stood up to the pressure of originality. It’s always a bad sign with originality counts for something.
But seriously, although I’m not familiar with any of the specific titles on this list, a number of the authors were recommended to me at one time or another by the wonderful people at the German Book Office, including Julia Franck, Thomas Glavinic, Michael Lentz, and Robert Menasse.
According to the official site, Signandsight.com has info and sample translations for the “shortlisted authors.” I couldn’t find this online, but hopefully it’s on its way.
German Book Prize Longlist
Thommie Bayer: Eine kurze Geschichte vom Glück (Piper, August 2007)
Larissa Boehning: Lichte Stoffe (Eichborn Berlin, August 2007)
Julia Franck: Die Mittagsfrau (S. Fischer, September 2007)
Thomas Glavinic: Das bin doch ich (Hanser, August 2007)
Lena Gorelik: Hochzeit in Jerusalem (SchirmerGraf, March 2007)
Sabine Gruber: Über Nacht (C.H. Beck, January 2007)
Peter Henisch: Eine sehr kleine Frau (Deuticke, August 2007)
Michael Köhlmeier: Abendland (Hanser, August 2007)
Katja Lange-Müller: Böse Schafe (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, August 2007)
Michael Lentz: Pazifik Exil (S. Fischer, August 2007)
Harald Martenstein: Heimweg (C. Bertelsmann, February 2007)
Pierangelo Maset: Laura oder die Tücken der Kunst(kookbooks, September 2007)
Robert Menasse: Don Juan de la Mancha (Suhrkamp, August 2007)
Martin Mosebach: Der Mond und das Mädchen (Hanser, August 2007)
Mathias Nolte: Roula Rouge (Deuticke, March 2007)
Gregor Sander: abwesend (Wallstein, March 2007)
Arnold Stadler: Komm, gehen wir (S. Fischer, May2007)
Peter Truschner: Die Träumer (Zsolnay, March 2007)
John von Düffel: Beste Jahre (DuMont, August 2007)
Thomas von Steinaecker: Wallner beginnt zu fliegen (FVA, February 2007)
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .