Back to overview

Robert Menasse wins the German Book Prize 2017

Robert Menasse wins the German Book Prize 2017

© Christina Weiß

Statement from the jury:

 “The humane is always worth striving for; it is never reliably given: With his novel 'Die Hauptstadt', Robert Menasse vividly shows that this also applies to the European Union. With great dramaturgical skill, he light-handedly digs into the deepest layers of this world we call our own – making unmistakably clear that, among other things, the economy alone will not be able to guarantee us a peaceful future. Those who are undermining the peace project that is Europe are among us – not infrequently, 'the others' are we ourselves. With 'Die Hauptstadt', Robert Menasse has achieved the goal he set for himself: In the novel, contemporaneity is realised with such literary ability that contemporaries will recognise themselves in it and those born later will be better able to understand these times."

The members of the jury for the German Book Prize 2017 are: Silke Behl (Radio Bremen), Mara Delius (Die Welt), Christian Dunker (autorenbuchhandlung berlin), Katja Gasser (Österreichischer Rundfunk), Maria Gazzetti (Casa di Goethe, Rome), Tobias Lehmkuhl (independent critic, Berlin) and Lothar Schröder (Rheinische Post).

The other novels that were nominated for the award are: Gerhard Falkner (“Romeo oder Julia”, Berlin Verlag), Franzobel (“Das Floß der Medusa”, Paul Zsolnay), Thomas Lehr (“Schlafende Sonne”, Carl Hanser), Marion Poschmann (“Die Kieferninseln”, Suhrkamp) and Sasha Marianna Salzmann (“Außer sich”, Suhrkamp).

The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung (the foundation of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) is awarding the German Book Prize 2017 to the best German-language novel of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurter Buchmesse. The German Book Prize is financially supported by the Deutsche Bank Foundation. Other partners are 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 #dbp17.

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

Robert Menasse wins the German Book Prize 2017

© Christina Weiß



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


Experience the award ceremony live


Films: These are the finalists


German Book Prize: the Shortlist in English


Six novels in the final round

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