© Christian Werner (Los Angeles, 2019)
In times of crisis, it matters more than ever what kind of stories we tell, which scripts and plots we follow and whose voices we trust. Literature can describe how the fleeting moment relates to long-term developments, the large to the small, the close to the remote. Fiction can articulate issues for which forms of speech and thought have yet to be found. Here more than ever we rely on translations to see and understand local manifestations of global conditions. In 2021, the Internationaler Literaturpreis will again be searching for books that do something with language – precisely because they reach us in translation.
Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Stiftung Elementarteilchen are awarding the Internationaler Literaturpreis for the thirteenth time. Endowed with €35,000 – 20,000 for the author, 15,000 for the translator – it honors an outstanding work of contemporary international literature in its first German translation. The award thus acknowledges both the original work and the translation, a dual focus that is unique in the German awards landscape.
The Internationaler Literaturpreis understands literature as a social practice. It is therefore accompanied by a variety of media and events. Whether videos, podcasts or reading groups: There are many ways to get in touch with literature. A reader with excerpts from the six shortlisted books will be available from many partner bookstores.