Fatima Daas and Sina de Malafosse receive the 2021 Internationaler Literaturpreis
The author Fatima Daas and the translator Sina de Malafosse will be awarded the Internationaler Literaturpreis for contemporary literature in translation for the novel Die jüngste Tochter, published in 2021 by Claassen-Verlag.
For the thirteenth time, Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Stiftung Elementarteilchen will award the Internationaler Literaturpreis for contemporary literature in its first German translation. Endowed with €20,000 for the author and €15,000 for the translator, the prize not only honors outstanding contemporary voices in international narrative literature, but in particular the alliance between author and translator. For their shortlist nomination, all other authors and translators will receive €1,000 each.
“Every word of this autobiographical debut novel testifies to the dauntlessness and vulnerable honesty of the narrator, who grows up as the daughter of Algerian immigrants in Clichy-sous-Bois. The novel depicts the search for an identity in which a young woman can come closer to Islam and break free from sexual role ascriptions without having to defend one against the other. Fatima Daas chooses such precise and powerful words, knowing that she needs these words to create a world in which she wants to live. And she tells of this world in a tremendously contemporary way, drawing on traditions of Arabic-language literatures with great naturalness and range. The rhythms, the repetitions, the magical connotations of individual words echo the sura structure of the Qur’an, contemporary Arabic poetry and rap.
In her translation, Sina de Malafosse manages to preserve the precision and linguistic play in equal parts, more than that, she allows readers a unique insight into the heteroglossia of living French; she lets words sparkle in their ambiguity without losing their meaning in endless play, without ever depriving the narrator of control over all that she wants to say.”
Bernd Scherer, Director of Haus der Kulturen der Welt:
“At this year’s Internationaler Literaturpreis, we celebrate literature as a place where life can be experienced in its incongruities, contradictions and gray zones. Especially in an era characterized by the megatrend of binary digital logic, we urgently need these places, which are located between 0 and 1.”
Fatima Daas, born in 1995, studied literary writing at the University of Paris VIII. Her first novel, La petite dernière (German translation: Die jüngste Tochter), received the 2020 Prix Les Inrockuptibles for best debut novel and has been translated into several languages.
Sina de Malafosse, born in 1984, studied Romance languages and comparative literature in Mainz and Dijon. After various stints in publishing, she has been translating from French since 2015, including works by Adeline Dieudonné, Pauline Delabroy-Allard and Violette Leduc. She lives in Toulouse.
This year’s jury members are Robin Detje, Heike Geißler, Michael Götting, Dominique Haensell, Verena Lueken, Annika Reich and Elisabeth Ruge.
The award-winning duo will be announced in an award ceremony on June 30, 2021 at 7 pm live on hkw.de.
More information at hkw.de/literatureaward
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The Internationaler Literaturpreis is awarded by Haus der Kulturen der Welt with Stiftung Elementarteilchen.
Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Federal Foreign Office.