Julia Franck wins German Book Prize

8th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

Die Mittagsfrau (Lady Midday) by Julia Franck, 37, won the German Book Prize, a 25,000-euro annual award for original novels in German.

08 October 2007

Frankfurt (dpa) - Die Mittagsfrau (Lady Midday) by Julia Franck, 37, won the German Book Prize, a 25,000-euro annual award for original novels in German Monday.

The book is the story of a German woman, Helene, whose happy childhood comes to an abrupt end with the outbreak of the First World War, and the strains in her marriage, reaching a climax in the horrors of the Second World War.
Before the annual prize was set up two years ago, there was no major award at all for modern novels in German along the lines of the Man Booker Prize in Britain or France's Prix Goncourt.

The prize was instituted in 2005 to gain greater international attention for fiction by younger German authors. Last year's winner, The Have-Nots by Katharina Hacker, had strong sales in German and has since appeared in English.

Six novels had made it to the short list.

Der Mond und das Maedchen (The Moon and The Maiden) by Martin Mosebach is a comic account of a young married couple and what happens when they set up house in downtown Frankfurt.

Das bin doch ich (Surely That's Me) by Thomas Glavinic is a comic account of a fictional man (also called Thomas Glavinic) and his efforts to write a best-selling novel.

Abendland (Occident) by Michael Koehlmeier portrays two very different families in Austria and Germany through the whole course of the 20th century.

Boese Schafe (Angry Sheep) by Katja Lange-Mueller describes the love affair of a Berlin woman with a convicted criminal.

Wallner beginnt zu fliegen (Wallner Takes Flight) by Thomas von Steinaecker is yet another family saga, portraying a businessman, his unsettled musician son and an illegitimate grand-daughter.

Felicitas von Lovenberg, spokeswoman for the seven-member prize committee, said there had been spirited argument about the shortlist selection and unanimity was not to be expected.

Compared to other exports such as cars or turbines, contemporary German fiction is not well known outside central Europe. German novels have a reputation abroad of being very psychological and having weak plots.

The prize is to show that German authors can write well- characterized, entertaining stories along with the world's best.

The Boersenverein which administers the prize is the organization of publishers and booksellers in Germany.


Subject: German news

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