Ceremony October 18th 2021
The winner of the German Book Prize 2020 is Anne Weber for her novel “Annette, ein Heldinnenepos” (Matthes & Seitz Berlin).
Statement from the jury:
“The power of Anne Weber’s story is equal to the power of her heroine: It is breathtaking how fresh the old form of the epic sounds here and with what lightness Weber condenses the life story of French resistance fighter Anne Beaumanoir into a novel about courage, resistance and the struggle for freedom. ‘Annette, ein Heldinnenepos’ (‘Annette, an Epic of a Heroine’) is a story full of hardships, which Weber tells with effortless discretion and subtle irony. This novel is about nothing less than Franco-German history as one of the foundations of our Europe today. We are grateful that Anne Weber has discovered Annette for us and tells her story.”
The members of the jury for the German Book Prize 2020 are: Katharina Borchardt (literature editor, SWR2), Hanna Engelmeier (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen [KWI] and author), David Hugendick (literature editor, Zeit Online), Chris Möller (propagator of literature at Kabeljau & Dorsch, Berlin), Maria-Christina Piwowarski (“ocelot” bookstore, Berlin), Felix Stephan (literature editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung) and Denise Zumbrunnen (“Never Stop Reading” bookstore, Zurich).
“Reliably and unlike virtually any other award, the German Book Prize spurs the discussion about books in Germany – which is more important than ever this year. Due to the pandemic, publishers had to cancel many readings and postpone the release of new books, and opportunities to meet with authors were lost. I would like to thank everyone involved, friends and supporters, who – even under these difficult conditions – participated in the German Book Prize project, providing such an important stage for German-language literature”, says Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, President of Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association).
The other novels that were shortlisted for the award are:
Bov Bjerg, “Serpentinen” (Claassen), Dorothee Elmiger, “Aus der Zuckerfabrik” (Carl Hanser), Thomas Hettche, “Herzfaden” (Kiepenheuer & Witsch), Deniz Ohde, “Streulicht” (Suhrkamp) and Christine Wunnicke, “Die Dame mit der bemalten Hand” (Berenberg).
Anne Weber receives 25,000 euros; the five finalists 2,500 euros each. The winner was determined in several stages. Since the submission process began, the seven members of the jury have reviewed 206 titles published between October 2019 and 15 September 2020. A longlist of 20 of these novels was compiled, from which the jurors then selected six titles for the shortlist. This year, the award ceremony was broadcast live from the Frankfurt Römer.
The Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) awards the German Book Prize 2020 to the best German-language novel of the year. The German Book Prize receives funding from Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation), and additional partners include Frankfurter Buchmesse and the city of Frankfurt am Main. The television network Deutsche Welle supports the German Book Prize in its media activities both at home and abroad.
The hashtag for the German Book Prize 2020 is #dbp20