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)
Pedro Zarraluki’s The History of Silence (trans. Nick Caistor and Lorenza García) begins with the narrator and his wife, Irene, setting out to write a book about silence, itself called The History of Silence: “This is the story of how. . .
There are plenty of reasons you can fail to find the rhythm of a book. Sometimes it’s a matter of discarding initial assumptions or impressions, sometimes of resetting oneself. Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes was a defining experience in the necessity. . .
In a culture that privileges prose, reviewing poetry is fairly pointless. And I’ve long since stopped caring about what the world reads and dropped the crusade to get Americans to read more poems. Part of the fault, as I’ve suggested. . .
I would like to pose the argument that it is rare for one to ever come across a truly passive protagonist in a novel. The protagonist (perhaps) of Three Light-Years, Claudio Viberti, is just that—a shy internist who lives in. . .
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .