Prize Ceremony

2021

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2021

Prize winner

The jury has decided: The winner of the German Book Prize 2021

Blaue Frau

Prize winner 2021

Blaue Frau

Growing up in the Giant Mountains of the Czech Republic, Adina longed for faraway places even as a child. In Berlin she meets a photographer who gets her an internship at a cultural centre in the Uckermark. Made invisible by a sexual assault that no one takes seriously, Adina ends up stranded in Helsinki after an odyssey. In the hotel she meets an Estonian professor, a member of the EU parliament, who falls in love with her. While he campaigns for human rights, Adina searches for a way out of her inner exile.

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Justification of the jury

“With existential force and poetic precision, Antje Rávik Strubel describes a young woman’s escape from her memories of being raped. Layer by layer, this unsettling novel exposes what happened. The story of female self-empowerment expands into a reflection on competing cultures of memory in Eastern and Western Europe and the power imbalance between the sexes. In a tentative narrative movement, Antje Rávik Strubel succeeds in giving voice to what is actually unspeakable about a traumatic experience. In her dialogue with the mythical figure of the Blue Woman, the narrator sums up her interventional poetics: literature as a fragile counterforce against injustice and violence in the face of despair.”

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A ntje Rávik Strubel prevailed against Norbert Gstrein, Der zweite Jakob (Carl Hanser), Monika Helfer, Vati (Carl Hanser), Christian Kracht, Eurotrash (Kiepenheuer & Witsch), Thomas Kunst Zandschower Klinken (Suhrkamp) and Mithu Sanyal, Identitti (Carl Hanser). 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 230 titles published between October 2020 and 21st September 2021.

A longlist of 20 titles was then compiled from these novels. From this list, the jurors selected six titles for the shortlist. The Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels – the Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association – awarded the German Book Prize 2021 to the best German-language title of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

2021 Impressions

The award ceremony 2021 18 October

2021 The finalists