Uwe Teller wins German Book Prize

14th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

He won the award for The Tower, a monumental work describing the collapse of communist East Germany two decades ago.

Frankfurt -- Author Uwe Teller won the German Book Prize, an annual, 25,000-euro (34,000-dollar) award for German-language novels, judges announced in Frankfurt Monday.

He won the award for The Tower, a monumental work describing the collapse of communist East Germany two decades ago.

Teller, 39, a physician, was born in the eastern city of Dresden and jailed in 1989 for "political unreliability" just before communism fell.

The prize is awarded by the German Book Trade Federation annually two days before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's premier book publishing event.

The other novels shortlisted were Adam and Evelyn (Ingo Schulze), Abolition of Species (Dietmar Dath), Dark Ship (Sherko Fatah), Swim Home (Rolf Lappert) and Two Meet (Iris Hanika).

Modeled on the Man Booker Prize in Britain, the award is meant to identify novels that would appeal to a wide range of readers and perhaps generate international interest.

German fiction is often intensely local or personal in its focus. Some novelists even write books without a plot.

Critics this year praised Teller's books, saying they were not easy reading, with long sentences, abundant metaphors and a poetic style. Some said he might one day be recognized as a "great German author."

Teller, who also writes poetry, now lives with his wife and their child in Freiburg in southwestern Germany.

In just three years since it was founded, the German Book Prize has been accepted as the German-speaking world's most renowned literary award.

However some shy authors repulsed by the pop-star style celebrity accompanying the award have complained this year about the fuss.

The panel of judges selects a "long list" of 20 titles then announces a shortlist of six by mid-September.

DPA/Expatica

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