Pressemitteilung vom 26.05.2020

Internationaler Literaturpreis 2020: Award goes to six books this year

Internationaler Literaturpreis 2020

Announcement of the winners: live on the Lesart program on Deutschlandfunk Kultur on June 4, 10.05am

A signal of solidarity: In the exceptional year of 2020, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Stiftung Elementarteilchen will not grant the award to one single book, but to all six shortlisted titles equally. Instead of two winners, there will be twelve: the six authors and six translators on the shortlist. In this precarious situation for many creative artists, the Internationaler Literaturpreis thus will not honor one work, but the work and voices of many.

Bernd Scherer, director of HKW, said, “At a time when the response to global complexities is often to retreat into national egoisms and narratives of exclusion, it seems all the more important to focus on the mediating power of contemporary international literature and its translation. The jury put a great deal of time, attention, and enthusiasm into the selection of the six books. So it’s clear that all of the titles are basically award-worthy. The changed procedure allows us to provide tangible assistance to twelve authors and translators at once as part of the award. This year, this procedure seems more sensible to us than focusing on one literary work.”

The six award-winning works will be announced on live radio on the Lesart program of Deutschlandfunk Kultur on June 4. The award ceremony usually held on the roof terrace of HKW will not take place this year.

René Aguigah, head of Literature, Philosophy, Religion at Deutschlandfunk Kultur, said: “We are delighted to host a prize that, like no other literary award in Germany, promotes the collaboration of writers and translators and thus opening up to other languages. Deutschlandfunk Kultur is doing so in its role as a public place at a time when a public life is difficult to create.”

The prize money of €36,000 will be divided equally among the twelve winners.

In its twelfth year, the Internationaler Literaturpreis received 135 entries from 74 publishers. The books were translated from 29 languages.

The jury of the 2020 Internationaler Literaturpreis consists of the members Robin Detje, Heike Geißler, Tobias Lehmkuhl, Verena Lueken, Daniel Medin, Elisabeth Ruge, and Daniela Seel.

The Internationaler Literaturpreis has been awarded annually since 2009 by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Stiftung Elementarteilchen to honor outstanding works of contemporary international literature and their first translation into German.

More information about the Internationaler Literaturpreis:

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is funded by the German Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the German Foreign Ministry.

Press contact:
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Jan Trautmann
Head of Press and PR
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin
phone +49 30 39787-153/196