NAfter the first closure last year, which also took place at the Leipzig Book Fair, the German literary work declared a “second spring” for publishing production in the first half of the year, which did not receive the usual attention due to the closure. . If you look at this year’s award winners at the Leipzig Book Fair, you might think you should also make up for something you missed here: all three winning books from 2020.
This year’s Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the Novels category was awarded to Iris Haneka’s novel “Droschl Verlag”. It talks about two middle-aged women and a slightly younger man and revolves around modern forms of narcissism. Reviewer Rose Maria Group wrote: “Anyone who has previously experienced psychoanalytic difficulties will enjoy it very much. Everyone else gets a guaranteed intense and entertaining course in narcissism theory.” With Frederick Mayroker, Judith Hermann, Helga Schubert and Christian Kracht, the field was The other candidates are too strong. The fact that ninety-six-year-old Frederick Mayroker had missed an old taste should leave her.
In non-fiction books, Heike Behrends triumphed, “Becoming a Monkey – An Autobiography of Ethnographic Research” (Matisse and Seitz). The retired ethnicologist remembers her research life. In her confession, the researcher spoke of the “great luck” she had in being able to work on her book in the care of her publisher from the start. She extends her special thanks to all those people in Africa who have placed their trust.
The Leipzig Book of Translation Prize was awarded to Timia Tanko for the Hungarian study “Apropos Casanova”, which the author Miklos Syntkothi translated into German from 1939 (The Other Library). The combination of “the essay of love, the image of the era, the carnival of ideas and theological satire”, as it was called in our review, was considered a brazen blasphemy by the pre-fascist Horthy regime, and Szentkothi was considered a “strange element of class” in Communism in Hungary. It was only in the 1970s that the book could be published without censorship and can now be read in German for the first time.
Although the book fair was not held this time either, today their prizes were awarded in Leipzig – each awarded € 15,000. Other winners and nominees have been linked online.