What makes a book prize-worthy? | German Book Prize | DW | 04.10.2016
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German Book Prize

What makes a book prize-worthy?

What makes a novel the best of the year? Since 2005, judges and critics have been trying to figure out just that. The German Book Prize promises authors skyrocketing sales - and opens the field for plenty of debate.

The German Book Prize began as a springboard for German-language authors. It is an annual book event, inspired by the incredibly successful Man Booker Prize and the Prix Goncourt. But can diverse literature really pit one title against another - family novels for the masses versus books of literary acrobatics, contemporary historical tomes against intimate family portraits?

What are the criteria when it comes to selecting the best from among many good books? That is the question tackled by jurors and literary critics every year - and they seldom agree. They read and debate, and in the end there is a winner who enjoys dream sales and international attention. Is the German Book Prize a literary distinction or an ingenious marketing idea? Perhaps both.

Deutsche Welle has been the media partner of the German Book Prize since 2006. Through its multiple foreign language services, it reaches readers interested in new German-language literature from all over the world. Many of the book-prize candidates have their works translated: authors who are not yet known and books that would otherwise be lost in a sea of new releases. The annual competition for novel of the year turns into a real voyage of discovery. It's an invitation to plunge into a new literary world. So why not delve into this great literary adventure?

Concept: Aygül Cizmecioglu
Head: Rainer Traube