Frank Witzel Wins the German Book Prize 2015

FRANKFURT am MAIN, Germany, Oct. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - The winner of the German Book Prize 2015 is Frank Witzel for his novel "Die Erfindung der Roten Armee Fraktion durch einen manisch-depressiven Teenager im Sommer 1969" (Matthes & Seitz Berlin).

Statement from the jury:

"Frank Witzel's work is, in the best sense, a boundless novelistic construct. It tells the story of a youth from the Hessian provinces who, at the age of thirteen and a half, finds himself on the verge of adulthood. Woven into this story is the political awakening of the former Federal Republic of Germany, which is just beginning to shake off the fustiness of the immediate post-war years. This era of transformation is conjured up through disparate episodes that run through an incredibly wide range of literary forms, from internal monologue to action scene, from meeting minutes to philosophical treatise. In its blending of delusion and wit, formal audacity and historical panoramicity, the novel is unique in German-language literature. Frank Witzel ventures into the precarious terrain of speculative realism. The German Book Prize honours a brilliant linguistic work of art that is a vast quarry of words and ideas - a hybrid compendium of pop, politics and paranoia."

The jury: Markus Hinterhäuser (Wiener Festwochen), Rolf Keussen (Mayersche Droste, Düsseldorf), Ursula Kloke (Botnanger Buchladen, Stuttgart), Claudia Kramatschek (independent critic), Ulrike Sárkány (Norddeutscher Rundfunk), Christopher Schmidt (Süddeutsche Zeitung) and Bettina Schulte (Badische Zeitung).

Frank Witzel prevailed over: Jenny Erpenbeck (Gehen, ging, gegangen, Knaus), Rolf Lappert (Über den Winter, Carl Hanser), Inger-Maria Mahlke (Wie Ihr wollt, Berlin Verlag), Ulrich Peltzer (Das bessere Leben, S. Fischer) and Monique Schwitter (Eins im Andern, Droschl).

The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung - the foundation of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association - is awarding the German Book Prize 2015 to the best German-language title of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The German Book Prize is financially supported by the Deutsche Bank Foundation. Other partners include the Frankfurt Book Fair and the city of Frankfurt am Main. The television network Deutsche Welle supports the German Book Prize in its media activities both at home and abroad.

SOURCE Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

For further information: Contacts for the media: Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V., Claudia Paul, Director of Press and Public Relations; Phone +49-(0)-69-1306-293, E-mail:; Thomas Koch, Press Officer, Phone +49-(0)-69-1306-292, E-mail:

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