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German Book Prize 2021: Six books selected as finalists

The six novels on the shortlist for the German Book Prize 2021.
Erstellt am 21.09.2021

The jury has selected the following six novels for the shortlist of the German Book Prize 2021: 

  • Norbert Gstrein: Der zweite Jakob (Carl Hanser, February 2021)
  • Monika Helfer: Vati (Carl Hanser, January 2021)
  • Christian Kracht: Eurotrash (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, March 2021)
  • Thomas Kunst: Zandschower Klinken (Suhrkamp, February 2021)
  • Mithu Sanyal: Identitti (Carl Hanser, February 2021)
  • Antje Rávik Strubel: Blaue Frau (S. Fischer, August 2021)

Regarding this selection, jury spokesperson Knut Cordsen, culture editor at Bayerischer Rundfunk, says: “These six finalists showcase the stylistic, formal and thematic richness of contemporary German-language literature and attest to an immense delight and expertise in storytelling. In addition, all the nominated titles reflect on their own writing, plumbing its possibilities and limits. They are artistically outstanding novels that, despite the many differences in their topoi and writing styles, have one thing in common: each is excellent in its own way and each won the jury over in its own right.”

Since the submission process began, the seven members of the jury have reviewed 230 titles published between October 2020 and 21 September 2021.

In addition to Knut Cordsen, the members of the jury are: Bettina Fischer (director Literaturhaus Cologne), Anja Johannsen (director Literarisches Zentrum Göttingen), Richard Kämmerlings (literary correspondent, Die Welt), Sandra Kegel (head of literature and arts section, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Beate Scherzer (bookseller, Proust Wörter + Töne) and Anne-Catherine Simon (editor of literature and arts section, Die Presse).

The Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) awards the German Book Prize 2021 to the best German-language novel of the year. The winner receives 25,000 euros, the five finalists 2,500 euros each. The award ceremony will be broadcast live from the Kaisersaal of the Frankfurt Römer on 18 October 2021 to coincide with the start of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Those interested can watch the award ceremony via live stream at

The radio stations Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur will also broadcast the ceremony live via the special “Dokumente und Debatten” channel on digital radio and as a live stream on

The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main sponsor of the German Book Prize, and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and city of Frankfurt am Main are also partners. The television network Deutsche Welle supports the German Book Prize in its media activities both at home and abroad.

Starting on 4 October 2021, the website will feature English translations of excerpts from the shortlisted titles, along with an English-language dossier about the shortlist.

Video portraits posted on the website and social media channels of the German Book Prize provide an impression of the nominated works and their authors.

The hashtag for the German Book Prize is #dbp21

Press photo and information about the nominated titles for download

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