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)
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
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. . .