2015

Prize winner

The jury has decided: The winner of the German Book Prize 2015

Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969

Prize winner 2015

Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969

Gudrun Ensslin as a Native American squaw made of brown plastic and Andreas Baader as a knight in shining black armour – the world of the child narrator, who resurrects the cosmos of former West Germany, is no less real than the political events that hold those years in suspense and which the 13-year-old tries to make sense of in his own way. In the process, memories of post-war Germany, hints of the German Autumn and observations about the present take him further and further away from his environment. The result is a kaleidoscope of the moods of a world that, just like East Germany, became history in 1989.

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Justification of the jury

"Frank Witzel’s work is, in the best sense, a boundless novelistic construct. It tells the story of a youth from the Hessian provinces who, at the age of thirteen and a half, finds himself on the verge of adulthood. Woven into this story is the political awakening of the former Federal Republic of Germany, which is just beginning to shake off the fustiness of the immediate post-war years. This era of transformation is conjured up through disparate episodes that run through an incredibly wide range of literary forms, from internal monologue to action scene, from meeting minutes to philosophical treatise. In its blending of delusion and wit, formal audacity and historical panoramicity, the novel “Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969” (The Invention of the Red Army Faction by a Manic-Depressive Teenager in the Summer of 1969) is unique in German-language literature. Frank Witzel ventures into the precarious terrain of speculative realism. The German Book Prize honours a brilliant linguistic work of art that is a vast quarry of words and ideas – a hybrid compendium of pop, politics and paranoia."

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2015

Shortlist

The novels nominated for the German Book Prize 2015

Gehen, ging, gegangen (Go, Went, Gone)
Über den Winter (Through the Winter)
Wie Ihr wollt (As You Wish)
Das bessere Leben (The Better Life)
Eins im Andern (One Another)
Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969.  1969 (The Invention of the Red Army Faction by a Manic-Depressive Teenager in the Summer of 1969)

2015

Longlist

The novels nominated for the German Book Prize 2015

Baba Dunjas letzte Liebe
Die Liebenden von Mantua
Gehen, ging, gegangen
Winters Garten
Eigentlich müssten wir tanzen
Aberland
Risiko
Über den Winter
Wie Ihr wollt
Das bessere Leben
89/90
Eins im Andern
Die Stunde zwischen Frau und Gitarre
Bodentiefe Fenster
Macht und Widerstand
Lucia Binar und die russische Seele
Applaus für Bronikowski
Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969
Der Fuchs und Dr. Shimamura
Siebentürmeviertel