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German Book Prize goes to Ursula Krechel

The 2012 German Book Prize has been awarded to the Berlin-based author Ursula Krechel for her novel 'Landgericht.' The German writer beat out five other authors whose works had made it onto this year’s shortlist.

Ursula Krechel's second novel is set in the post-War years of West Germany. In Landgericht (District Court), a Jewish judge, who had fled the Nazi regime, returns to Germany after several years of exile in Cuba. However, the protagonist, who wishes to return to a normal life, soon finds out that he isn't always welcome in the land of his birth.

In a statement announcing its decision, the seven-member jury decribed Landgericht as a "moving, politically acute novel that makes an admirably cool and modern impression."

The 64-year-old Krechel, who was born in the western German city of Trier but now makes her home in Berlin, is better known for her poetry, having published 13 volumes of poems. She beat out five other authors who had also made the shortlist: Ernst Augustin, Wolfgang Herrndorf, Clemens J. Setz, Stephan Thome and Ulf Erdmann Ziegler.

The German Book Prize, which includes a cash award of 25,000 euros ($32,400), is awarded annually on the evening before the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

pfd/dr (dpa, kna)

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