Back to overview

Inger-Maria Mahlke receives the German Book Prize 2018 for her novel “Archipel” (“Archipelago”)

Inger-Maria Mahlke receives the German Book Prize 2018  for her novel “Archipel” (“Archipelago”)

© Dagmar Morath

The winner of the German Book Prize 2018 is Inger-Maria Mahlke for her novel “Archipel” (Rowohlt).

Statement from 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.”

The members of the jury for the German Book Prize 2018 are: Christoph Bartmann (Goethe-Institut Warsaw), Luzia Braun (ZDF), Tanja Graf (Literaturhaus Munich), Paul Jandl (independent critic), Uwe Kalkowski (literary blog “Kaffeehaussitzer”), Christine Lötscher (independent critic) and Marianne Sax (Bücherstube Marianne Sax bookstore, Frauenfeld).

“Every year, the German Book Prize marks a high point in public engagement with books. Time and again, the discussions around the nominated titles show us the true value of culture: Culture works because it is multifaceted; it works through dialogue and mutual inspiration”, says Heinrich Riethmüller, President of Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (the German Publishers and Booksellers Association).

The other novels that were shortlisted for the award are: 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).

The winner receives 25,000 euros, the five finalists 2,500 euros each. The German-language novel of the year was determined in several stages. Since the submission process began, the seven members of the jury have reviewed 199 titles published between October 2017 and 11 September 2018. The jurors compiled a longlist of 20 of these novels, from which they then selected six titles for the shortlist.

The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung (the foundation of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) is awarding the German Book Prize 2018 to the best German-language novel of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The German Book Prize receives financial support from the Deutsche Bank Foundation. Other partners include the 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.

On the “Book Prize Bloggers” present reviews of all the longlisted titles, as well as background information and contributions for critical debate. More information is available on the Facebook page of the German Book Prize and under the hashtag #dbp18.

Exclusive English translations of excerpts from the six shortlisted titles along with an English-language dossier are available at

Further information, including the dates and times of the winner’s appearances at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, can be found at

Frankfurt am Main, 8 October 2018

Inger-Maria Mahlke receives the German Book Prize 2018  for her novel “Archipel” (“Archipelago”)

© Dagmar Morath



Saša Stanišić receives German Book Prize 2019 for “Herkunft” (“Origins”)


Filmic portraits of the finalists


Experience the award ceremony live


The German Book Prize 2019 at Frankfurter Buchmesse


Shortlist 2019

Press contact

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

Thomas Koch
Director Press and Public Relations
Phone +49 (0) 69 1306-293

Cathrin Mund
PR Manager
Phone +49 (0) 69 1306-292