International Literature Award 2012, The Winners: Mircea Cărtărescu, Gerhardt Csejka und Ferdinand Leopold, Photo: Marcus Lieberenz
International Literature Award 2012, Winners and Jury, Photo: Marcus Lieberenz

2012, Jan 01 - Dec 31

International Literature Award - Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2012

2012, Jan 01 - Dec 31

In 2012, for the fourth time, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, and Stiftung Elementarteilchen, Hamburg, presented the International Literature Prize – Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Since 2009, the prize has been awarded to the author of an outstanding foreign-language work of international prose fiction and its translator.

The Award Winners 2012

The author Mircea Cărtărescu and his translators Gerhardt Csejka and Ferdinand Leopold for the novel „Der Körper“, published 2011 by Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Wien (original title:„Orbitor II. Corpul“, 2002 published by Humanitas/ Bukarest).

The prize draws attention not only to outstanding contemporary prose writers but also to the diversity of world literary creativity and the intermediary function of translation. By combining these two factors, it creates impulses for the cosmopolitan opening up of our societies and the long overdue expansion of the “national” literary canon in a world of globalized cultural productions. With a purse of €25,000 for the author and €10,000 for the translator, the prize is well-endowed.

The laureates so far were: 2009 – the American-Peruvian writer Daniel Alarcón and his translator from the American-English original, Friederike Meltendorf for “Lost City Radio“ (Wagenbach Verlag 2008); 2010 – Marie NDiaye and her translator from the French original, Claudia Kalscheuer, for the novel “Drei starke Frauen“ (Suhrkamp 2010); 2011 – the Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin and his translator Andreas Tretner for “Venushaar“ (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2011).

Once again in 2012, German-language publishers were called on to submit candidate titles. A jury of renowned literary critics, journalists, translators and writers determines the winners in a multi-stage process. Following the release of the shortlist in April and the announcement of the winners in May, the award ceremony took place in the presence of the prize-winners on 6 June 2012 in Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

The jury members include Egon Ammann (former publisher, Berlin),Hans Christoph Buch (writer/ journalist), Kersten Knipp (literature critic/culture journalist), Marie Luise Knott (critic/translator), Claudia Kramatschek (literature critic/culture journalist), Ricarda Otte (editorial journalist, culture editing Deutsche Welle), Ilma Rakusa (writer/translator/publicist).

The jury for the years 2011/2012 was selected by an independent committee comprising Erik Bettermann (Director-General, Deutsche Welle), Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (President, Goethe-Institut), Joachim Sartorius (poet, translator) and Christina Weiss (Chairwoman, Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie).