Jury of 2014

Egon Ammann
Egon Ammann was born 1941. After his schooling he completed an apprenticeship as a publisher and attended university in Bern and Fribourg. He went on to work as an editor for numerous German and foreign-language publishing houses abroad. In 1981, he and Marie-Luise Flammersfeld co-founded the Ammann Verlag in Zurich. After the publishing house closed in 2011, he moved to Berlin, where he continues to publish works by various authors, among them Fernando Pessoa.

Hans Christoph Buch
Hans Christoph Buch was born in 1944. A novelist, reporter and essayist, he studied German and Slavic language and literature at the University of Bonn and the FU Berlin. In 1972, he completed his doctorate in literature under Walter Höllerer at the Technische Universität Berlin. In the 1970s, he worked for the Rowohlt Verlag, for which he edited the magazine “Literaturmagazin”. Later, he lectured at universities in the US, Chile and Cuba and traveled widely in North and South America, Africa and Asia, with extended stays in China. Buch developed a special relationship with the Caribbean region in the 1980s, especially with Haiti, where many of his novels are set. In the 1990s, he was a prominent reporter from war zones and crisis-hit regions.

Leila Chammaa
(Translator, Expert in Islamic Studies)
Leila Chammaa, born in 1965, read Islamic studies, Arabic language and literature and political science at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 1990, she has been translating Arabic prose and poetry into German and has served as an advisor and consultant to publishers and other institutions in the field of Arabic literature. In 2004 she was responsible for the coordination and dramaturgical organization of the literary readings in the Arabic honorary guest program at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2002, she founded the agency “Alif”, which aims to promote Arabic literature in German-speaking regions. She also lectures Arabic for the German Foreign Office.

Kersten Knipp
(Cultural Journalist/ Literary Critic)
Kersten Knipp was born in 1966. A doctor of Romance languages and literature, he studied Portuguese, French and English philology in Cologne, Toulouse and Fortaleza, Brazil. He lives in Cologne, where he works as a freelance journalist, covering developments in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Following the 9/11 attacks on New York, he resolved to learn Arabic and has since also written extensively about the culture and literature of the Arab World. He writes regularly about culture and politics in the Middle East for a range of broadcasters and publications, including Deutschlandfunk, WDR, FAZ, NZZ and “Freitag“. He is currently writing a cultural history of Brazil and a book about secular culture in the Arab World.

Sabine Peschel
(Sinologist/ Translator / Editor)
Sabine Peschel, born in 1955, studied Sinology and German language and literature in Tübingen. She has lived in Taibei, worked as a university lecturer in Niigata, Japan and spent 15 years working as a freelance project organizer and translator in Berlin. During that time, she had articles published on China, began working for radio and presented numerous Chinese writers in Germany for the first time. In 1999, Sabine Peschel went to work for Deutsche Welle in Cologne/Bonn as an editor. She translates novels, essays and poetry from the contemporary Chinese literary scene. 

Jörg Plath
(Literary Critic / Arts Journalist)
Jörg Plath, born in 1960, first did an apprenticeship as a book seller and then went on to study recent German literature, history and politics in Freiburg, Vienna and Berlin. In 1993, he received his doctorate for a thesis on Franz Hessel. Since then he has worked as a freelance lector, ghostwriter and literary editor. He now works as a literary critic for supra-regional media such as “Deutschlandfunk” and “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” and as a literary editor for “Deutschlandradio Kultur”

Iris Radisch
(Literary Critic / Journalist)
Iris Radisch, born in 1959, is a German literary journalist and critic. She studied German language and literature, Romance studies and philosophy in Tübingen and Frankfurt. Since 1990, she has worked as literary editor for die ZEIT, for which she is now features editor. In addition to visiting professorships in St. Louis, USA and Göttingen, she has also presented numerous literature programs, including “Bücher,Bücher” (HR) and “Literaturclub” (3sat/ SF1). She became well-known through her participation in the program “Das literarische Quartett” (2000-2001). From 1995 to 2000 she was a member of the jury for the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis; from 2003 to 2007 she was chairwoman of said jury. In 2008, she was awarded the media prize for linguistic culture in the category “press” by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache. In 2009, the French culture minister named Christine Albanel Radisch a “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres”. Her biography “Camus – Das Ideal der Einfachheit” was published in 2013.