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)
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .