German Book Prize goes to Antje Ravik Strubel

The author Antje Ravik Strubel received the German Book Prize 2021 for her novel “Blaue Frau” (S. Fischer Verlag). This was announced by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels this evening in Frankfurt. The prize is endowed with 25,000 euros.

At the beginning of “Blue Woman” the young protagonist finds herself in a desperate state: she numbs herself with schnapps in a strange apartment in a strange country, the door is locked, and imagines how she will testify in the Helsinki court . The hands of the handcuffed men will tremble, she hopes. The young woman with the three names – Nina, Sala, Adina – is traumatized.

Novel about rape and power structures

On more than 420 pages, the 47-year-old author not only unfolds the “#MeToo” story of a woman who is looking for a way to go on living after being raped. “Blue Woman” is also about power structures in relationships, institutions and states. It’s about the power and mentality gap between East and West, about the connection between money and authority, about the exploitation of people in the supposedly united Europe of 2004.

Prelude to the Frankfurt Book Fair

In the race for the prize were Monika Helfer and Norbert Gstrein, two authors from Austria as well as Christian Kracht, Thomas Kunst and Mithu Sanyal. You will now receive 2,500 euros each. This year 125 publishers had submitted a total of 197 novels, a new record. The jury was able to propose further books itself, so that 230 titles were viewed.

So far, the German Book Prize has gone to Austria twice: in 2005 to Arno Geiger (“We are fine”) and in 2017 to Robert Menasse (“The Capital”). The award of the German Book Prize also marks the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which will officially open tomorrow and last until October 24th.

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