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One of the most-coveted awards in German literature has gone to the author of Archipel. The novel tells the story of three families on the Canary Island of Tenerife from different social classes in Franco-era Spain.
Inger-Maria Mahlke has won the German Book Prize for 2018 for her novel Archipel, (Archipelago).
The novel tells the story of three families on the Canary Island of Tenerife from different social classes in Franco-era Spain. Mahlke's mother is from the Canary Islands.
"This is where colonial history and the history of European dictatorships in the 20th century coalesce," the jury said of Archipel.
In her book, Mahlke travels backward in time from the present to 1919.
"I had to take everything I know about storytelling, about building suspense, conveying information and forget it or turn it upside down," Mahlke said ahead of the prize ceremony.
First female recipient in 5 years
Archipel was chosen from a shortlist of six books, including Maria Cecilia Barbetta's Nachtleuchten (Night Lights), Maxim Biller's Sechs Koffer (Six Suitcases), Nino Haratischwili's Die Katze und der General (The Cat and the General), Susanne Röckel's Der Vogelgott (The Bird God) and Stephan Thome's Gott der Barbaren (God of the Barbarians).
Hamburg-born Mahlke, an author and criminologist, is the first woman to win the prestigious prize in five years. She received €25,000 ($29,000) in prize money, while the other five finalists were awarded €2,500 each.
The prize has been awarded since 2005 by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association to the best novel written in German.
Last year, the prize was won by Robert Menasse for his novel Die Hauptstadt (The Capital).
ap/rt (dpa, epd)