Leipzig Book Prize: Iris Hanika wins the Fiction Prize | News | DW

German writer Iris Hanika received the Leipzig Book Prize for Fiction for her novel “Echos Kammern”.

The jury announced the decision in a virtual ceremony on Friday.

They praised Hanika’s talent as a “clever, witty and savage narrative builder”, calling her “the most stubborn voice in contemporary German literature“.

Friday’s awards ceremony aired online for the second year in a row due to the pandemic

“Echos Kammern” – which could be translated as “Echo Chambers” or “Echo’s Chambers” in English – takes place in Berlin and New York and addresses themes of love, suffering, gentrification and tourism.

Hanika “conducts her language experiments with virtuosity,” said the jury.

The 58-year-old, Berlin-based author, takes “devilish pleasure that it could cost him the novel at any time. It is precisely this risky writing that sets her apart ”.

Three main awards

The Leipzig Book Prize has been awarded since 2005, recognizing new titles in the categories fiction, non-fiction and translation. The winner of each of the three sections will receive a cash prize of € 15,000 ($ 18,300).

This year’s award for non-fiction went to ethnologist Heike Behrend for his memoir “Menschwerdung eines Affen”, which translates to “Incarnation of a Monkey”.

She reflects on her research trips to Uganda and Kenya, resulting in what the judges called “a read as delicious as it is valuable, which broadens our horizons.”

Timea Tanko won the translator’s award for her translation of the Hungarian work “Apropos Casanova: Das Brevier des Heiligen Orpheus” by Miklos Szentkuthy. The judges said his German version of the 1939 book “matches Szentkuthy’s intellectual agility”.

The Leipzig Book Prize is one of the most important literary prizes in Germany.

This year, a total of 389 titles were submitted for review, with just five nominees in each of the three categories.

British author Johny Pitts received the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding on Wednesday for his book “Afropean”.

nm / msh (dpa, epd, AFP)


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