Prize Ceremony



Prize winner

The jury has decided: The winner of the German Book Prize 2018


Prize winner 2018


Rosa returns to Tenerife, to the run-down house of the once influential Bernadotte family. Rosa is searching – for what exactly, she doesn’t know. Her grandfather Julio was a messenger in the civil war. Taken prisoner by the fascists, he fled and returned, and today he works as a gatekeeper at the nursing home, the final portal of life of the island’s old people. This is a man who only knows privilege as the purview of others. “Archipelago” moves backwards through Julio’s century, the century of the Bautes and Bernadottes, the Wieses, Moores and Gonzálezes – but also of those who are nameless.

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Justification of the jury

“The archipelago lies at the outermost edge of Europe; the setting is the island of Tenerife, a nucleus of colonial history and of the history of 20th-century European dictatorships. Inger-Maria Mahlke writes about the present and back to 1919 in a precise and cogent manner. The narrative centres around three families from different social classes, fractured and wounded by Spanish history. Yet it is the dazzling details above all that make this novel such an impressive affair. Through its language, it allows us to experience everyday life, a damaged landscape – and even the light – as though with our own senses. The author’s eye for the intricate bifurcations of family and social relationships is fascinating.”

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Inger-Maria Mahlke prevailed against María Cecilia Barbetta Nachtleuchten” (S. Fischer), Maxim Biller, Sechs Koffer (Kiepenheuer & Witsch), Nino Haratischwili, Die Katze und der General (Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt), Susanne Röckel, Der Vogelgott (Jung und Jung) and Stephan Thome, Gott der Barbaren (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 seven members of the jury reviewed a total of 199 titles published between October 2017 and 11 September 2018.

A longlist of 20 titles was then compiled from these novels. From this list, the jurors selected six titles for the shortlist. The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung – the Foundation of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association – awarded the German Book Prize 2018 to the best German-language title of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

2018 Impressions

The award ceremony 2018 8 October

2018 The finalists

8 October 6 p.m.

Award ceremony

Open live stream