The German Book Prize announces its shortlist for 2022

The shortlisted authors will only find out when the winner is announced on October 17, who has been selected as the German Book Prize laureate.

Image: Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Two of six Kiepenheuer & Witsch titles

AAs you will recall, the German Book Prizethe leading fiction prize on the German market, launched its long list for 2022 on August 23.

Today (September 20) he has published his shortlist of six titles.

The winner receives a cash prize of €25,000 (US$24,917). The five finalists each receive €2,500 (US$2,491). This award program is made possible by the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandelsthe founding of the German publishers’ and booksellers’ association.

To get to this point today, the jury started with 233 books from at least 124 publishers. The panel selected his long list of 20 titles (actually one of the longest long lists in the world) and then narrowed it down to today’s short list of six books.

These six shortlisted authors will find out which of them has won the German Book Prize only on the night of the award ceremony on October 17 in Römer’s Kaisersaal in Frankfurt. That ceremony by tradition, of course, is carried out together with Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23).

Commenting on today’s publication of the list, jury president Miriam Zeh of Deutschlandfunk Kultur says: “A novel makes its own laws but is inevitably in touch with the present in which it is written and read.

miriam zeh

“All six titles on the 2022 shortlist convinced us with their aesthetic uniqueness,” says Zeh. “With linguistic brilliance and formal innovation, they describe social realities and fantasies, survey the center and the margins, and revolve around sadness and comedy.

“The nominated authors thus represent the thematic and stylistic diversity of contemporary German literature. What they share is an artistic unconditionality: they position themselves with their books, they are both combative and open to dialogue.

“By reading these shortlisted books, we invite readers to also engage in an exchange of ideas and readjust their own view of the world.”

This year’s jury is made up of:

  • Erich Klein, freelance critic based in Vienna
  • Frank Menden of the Hamburg bookstore called Stories
  • Uli Ormanns from the Agnes bookstore in Cologne
  • Isabelle Vonlanthen of the Zurich House of Literature
  • Selma Wels, curator and moderator in Frankfurt
  • Jan Wiele of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Miriam Zeh of Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Today’s winner, of course, is Kiepenheuer & Witsch, which publishes two of the six shortlisted titles.

List of finalists for the German Book Prize 2022
  • Fatma Aydemir: Dschinns (Carl Hanser, February 2022)
  • Cristina Bilkau: Nebenan (Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe / Luchterhand, March 2022)
  • Daniela Dröscher: Lügen über meine Mutter (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, August 2022)
  • Jan Factor: Trottel (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, September 2022)
  • Kim de l’Horizon: Blutbuch (DuMont, July 2022)
  • Nickel Eckhart: Spitzweg (Piper, April 2022)

As of October 4, new books in german will feature English translations of excerpts from the shortlisted titles, along with an English dossier on the shortlist. On the evening of the award ceremony, the radio stations Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur will broadcast the ceremony live using the “Dokumente und Debatten” channel on digital radio and as a live stream on Documents and discussions | deutschlandradio.de.

Antje Ravik StrubelHow you remember, won the 2021 edition of the prestigious honor in October by blue woman (blue woman, S. Fischer Verlage, August 2021). Every year, the German Book Prize Academy installs a new jury to help maintain the independence of the selection process. Multiple periods of jury duty are allowed.

You can follow the program on social networks through the hashtag #dbp22.

This is the publication of Perspectives’ Awards report 167 published in the 174 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the German Book Prize is hereand on book editions and prizes in general is here. More information about the German book market is here.

More from us on the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow at Trends Research & Advisory, and has been named International Business Press Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards. He is editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Institute of Critics), he was on The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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