The jury tasked with picking the best German-language novel of 2014 has unveiled a long list of its 20 favorite titles. The list will be narrowed to six finalists before a winner is announced in October.
Following months of intense reading, the seven-judge panel (pictured) announced the 20 long-listed works in Frankfurt this week.
The jury reviewed a total of 176 German-language titles submitted by publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and published between October 2013 and September 2014.
"Time and again we were able to experience in a new and different and surprising way how language can be used not simply to depict worlds, but first and foremost to create them," said jury spokeswoman and book critic Wiebke Porombka.
There are several well-known names on the list of authors vying for the 2014 German Book Prize, such as German-Bosnian talent Saša Stanišić. His nominated novel, "Vor dem Fest," took the Fiction Prize at the Leipzig Book Fair earlier this year.
Best stories in the German language
The selection also includes the most recent works by Angelika Klüssendorf, Thomas Hettche, Michael Köhlmeier, Charles Lewinsky, Marlene Streeruwitz, Heinrich Steinfest and Feridun Zaimoglu.
Porombka said there were diverse stories represented on the 20-title list, "from damaged and insane inner worlds to prolifically irritating, seemingly distant external worlds that sometimes reveal more about the present day than those with a more obvious connection to reality."
The jury's next task is to reduce the long list to a short list of just six titles to be announced on September 10. The final winner will be revealed by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association on October 6, on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Accompanying Wiebke Porombka on the judging panel are Jens Bisky from the "Süddeutsche Zeitung," independent critic Katrin Hillgruber, Frithjof Klepp from ocelot bookstore Berlin, Susanne Link from Staphanus bookseller, Manfred Papst from NZZ and Annemarie Stoltenberg from German broadcaster NDR Kultur.
The winning author will be awarded 25,000 euros ($33,000), and the five finalists will receive 2,500 euros each.
Hunagian-German author Terézia Mora won the German Book Prize in 2013 for her novel "Das Ungeheuer."
This year marks the German Book Prize's 10th anniversary.
Most of the nominated works have not been translated into English. Their German titles are listed below:
- Lukas Bärfuss, "Koala" (Wallstein, March 2014)
- Ulrike Draesner, "Sieben Sprünge vom Rand der Welt" (Luchterhand, March 2014)
- Antonio Fian, "Das Polykrates-Syndrom" (Droschl, February 2014)
- Franz Friedrich, "Die Meisen von Uusimaa singen nicht mehr" (S. Fischer, August 2014)
- Thomas Hettche, "Pfaueninsel" (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, September 2014)
- Esther Kinsky, "Am Fluss" (Matthes & Seitz Berlin, August 2014)
- Angelika Klüssendorf, "April" (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, February 2014)
- Michael Köhlmeier, "Zwei Herren am Strand" (Hanser, August 2014)
- Martin Lechner, "Kleine Kassa" (Residenz, February 2014)
- Gertrud Leutenegger, "Panischer Frühling" (Suhrkamp, March 2014)
- Charles Lewinsky, "Kastelau" (Nagel & Kimche, July 2014)
- Thomas Melle, "3000 Euro" (Rowohlt.Berlin, August 2014)
- Matthias Nawrat, "Unternehmer" (Rowohlt, March 2014)
- Christoph Poschenrieder, "Das Sandkorn" (Diogenes, February 2014)
- Lutz Seiler, "Kruso" (Suhrkamp, September 2014)
- Sasa Stanisic, "Vor dem Fest" (Luchterhand, March 2014)
- Heinrich Steinfest, "Der Allesforscher" (Piper, March 2014)
- Marlene Streeruwitz, "Nachkommen" (S. Fischer, June 2014)
- Feridun Zaimoglu, "Isabel" (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, February 2014)
- Michael Ziegelwagner, "Der aufblasbare Kaiser" (Rowohlt Berlin, March 2014)
nm/kbm (epd, dpa, kna)