2019

Prize winner

The jury has decided: The winner of the German Book Prize 2019

Herkunft

Prize winner 2019

Herkunft

A book about the coincidence of being born somewhere and what follows: That summer grandpa stepped on grandma’s foot so badly while dancing that their grandchild almost wasn’t born. That summer the boy almost drowned. That summer Angela Merkel left the borders open, which was similar to that summer the young man fled across many borders to Germany. A raftsman, a brakeman, a Bosnian policeman who would like to be bribed. An elementary school for three pupils. Nationalism. A Yugoslavian. A Tito. An Eichendorff. A Saša Stanišić.

Show more Show less

Justification of the jury

"Saša Stanišić is such a good storyteller that he even distrusts storytelling. Beneath each sentence in this novel the unavailable origins lurk, which simultaneously drive the storytelling. These origins only make themselves available as a fragment, a fiction and as a toying with the story’s possibilities. The author ennobles his readers with his vast imagination and releases them from the conventions of chronology, realism and formal unambiguity. “Hesitation has never told a good story”, he has his first-person narrator say. With great humour, he counters the narratives of historical misrepresentation with his own stories. “Herkunft” (“Origins”) is a portrait of a present that constantly re-tells itself anew – with the result that a “Self-Portrait with Ancestors” becomes a novel about a Europe of life journeys."

Show more Show less


2019

Shortlist

The novels nominated for the German Book Prize 2019

Das flüssige Land
Kintsugi
Nicht wie ihr
Winterbienen
Herkunft
Brüder

2019

Longlist

The novels nominated for the German Book Prize 2019

Schutzzone
Der junge Doktorand
Das flüssige Land
Cherubino
Miroloi
Kintsugi
Vater unser
Gelenke des Lichts
Die Leben der Elena Silber
Hier sind Löwen
Der Große Garten
Nicht wie ihr
Winterbienen
Die untalentierte Lügnerin
Herkunft
Flammenwand.
Brüder
Der Sommer meiner Mutter
Wo wir waren
Mobbing Dick