Ursula Krechel© Alexander Paul Englert

Ursula Krechel wins the German Book Prize 2012 for her novel “Landgericht”

The Börsenverein honours the year’s best German-language novel / Award ceremony held before 300 guests at the Frankfurt Römer

The winner of the German Book Prize 2012 is Ursula Krechel for her novel “Landgericht” (Jung und Jung). “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”, said the seven-member jury in explaining its decision. Jury members for the German Book Prize 2012 include: Silke Grundmann-Schleicher (Buchhandlung Schleichers, Berlin), Andreas Isenschmid (NZZ am Sonntag), Oliver Jungen (independent critic), Dirk Knipphals (die tageszeitung), Stephan Lohr (Norddeutscher Rundfunk), Jutta Person (independent critic) and Christiane Schmidt (freelance editor).

“Literature requires courage in many respects”, said Prof. Dr. Gottfried Honnefelder, director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and chairman of the Akademie Deutscher Buchpreis, in his opening address to approximately 300 guests in the Kaisersaal of the Römer. “But it’s undoubtedly the authors themselves who have shown the greatest courage by submitting their novels to the debate surrounding the literary prize. For this and for their powerful works I would like to thank the authors nominated for the German Book Prize. The German literature that has emerged in recent years has stood the test set forth with the establishment of the German Book Prize. It holds its own in every literary debate, appeals far beyond the German-speaking world and has achieved a unique, indelible resonance.”

Ursula Krechel prevailed against 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). She will receive 25,000 euros in prize winnings; the five finalists will each receive 2,500 euros. The winner was determined in several selection stages. The jury reviewed a total of 162 titles published between October 2011 and 12 September 2012. A longlist of 20 titles was then compiled from these novels. From this list, the jurors selected six titles for the shortlist.

With the German Book Prize 2012, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung honours the best German-language title of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Partners of the German Book Prize include Paschen & Companie, the Frankfurter Sparkasse Foundation, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the city of Frankfurt am Main. The television station Deutsche Welle serves as a media partner for the German Book Prize both at home and abroad. The radio stations Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur will broadcast the ceremony live as part of the “Dokumente und Debatten” programme on LW 153 and 177 kHz, on MW 990 kHz, as a live stream online at www.deutschlandradio.de and on digital satellite radio DAB+. 

The free German Book Prize app is now available and features reading and audio samples of all the nominated longlist titles. Exclusive English translations of excerpts from the six shortlist titles and an English-language dossier for each shortlist book and author are available at www.new-books-in-german.com.

The German Book Prize is on Facebook. You’ll find information, news and stories about the Book Prize at http://www.facebook.com/DeutscherBuchpreis.

Additional information and award recipient appearances at the Frankfurt Book Fair can be found at www.deutscher-buchpreis.de.

Frankfurt am Main, 8 October 2012


Contact for the media:

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.
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Telephone +49 (0) 69 1306-293, E-mail: paul@boev.de
Johannes Neufeld, Press Officer
Telephone +49 (0) 69 1306-292, E-mail: neufeld@boev.de