Ursula Krechel Wins German Book Prize for Novel “Landgericht”
Author Ursula Krechel has been awarded the 2012 German Book Prize for her novel Landgericht (Court of Justice), the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung (Foundation of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association) announced on Monday just before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Enlarge image Ursula Krechel is greeted with applause in the Kaisersaal of the Römer as the winner of the German Book Prize 2012 is announced. (© picture alliance / dpa) “In her novel Landgericht, Ursula Krechel recounts the entanglements in the life of Judge Richard Kornitzer as he returns home from exile. He is steeped in and shattered by his belief in justice and the rule of law when he loses the battle to restore his dignity in the confines of post-war Germany. The novel’s language oscillates between narrative, documentary, essay and analysis. At times poetic, at others laconic, Krechel precisely depicts her image of the early German Federal Republic – from its architecture and ways of life, right up to the contradictions of family psychology. Landgericht is a moving, politically acute novel that makes an admirably cool and modern impression,” the prize jury said in explaining its decision.
Krechel’s was one of six novels shortlisted for the prize, which honors the best German-language title written in the year before the Frankfurt Book Fair. The other finalists were Ernst Augustin (Robinsons blaues Haus, C.H.Beck), Wolfgang Herrndorf (Sand, Rowohlt, Berlin), Clemens J. Setz, (Indigo, Suhrkamp), Stephan Thome (Fliehkräfte, Suhrkamp) and Ulf Erdmann Ziegler (Nichts Weißes, Suhrkamp). Krechel will receive 25,000 euros in prize winnings; the five finalists will each receive 2,500 euros.
“The German literature that has emerged in recent years has stood the test set forth with the establishment of the German Book Prize,” said Prof. Dr. Gottfried Honnefelder, director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and chairman of the Akademie Deutscher Buchpreis, at the awards ceremony. “It holds its own in every literary debate, appeals far beyond the German-speaking world and has achieved a unique, indelible resonance.”
English translations This year for the first time, the German Book Prize partnered with New Books in German, a twice yearly journal for the English-language publishing and academic worlds, to offer exclusive translations of excerpts from the six titles on the short list, synopses of the novels, as well as author profiles.