Press Releases 2012
Press Release

The Robert Bosch Stiftung’s 2012 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize goes to Michael Stavarič

Promotional Prizes go to Akos Doma and Ilir Ferra

Stuttgart, January 16, 2012 - Michael Stavarič is awarded the 2012 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, valued at 15,000 euros. According to the jury, all of Michael Stavarič’s works to date, and particularly his latest novel “Brenntage” (publisher: Verlag C.H. Beck), have enriched contemporary German prose in a linguistically original way. And this year’s Promotional Prizes, valued at 7,000 euros each, go to Akos Doma for his novel “Die allgemeine Tauglichkeit” (publisher: Rotbuch Verlag), and Ilir Ferra for his German-language debut “Rauchschatten” (publisher: Edition Atelier). The Robert Bosch Stiftung has awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize since 1985, honoring outstanding literary achievements written in German by authors who are not native German speakers or whose cultural heritage is not German. This prize is the only one of its kind in Germany. The awards will be presented to the winners on March 1, 2012, at the Court Church of All Saints inside the Munich Residenz in Munich, Germany.

Michael Stavarič, born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1972, moved to Austria in 1979. He studied Czech studies and journalism in Vienna, where he lives and works today as a freelance author, translator, columnist, and critic. Stavarič has translated essays by Jiří Gruša, among other works, and written children’s books and poems. His breakthrough as an author is marked by his novels “stillborn” (2006) and “Terminifera” (2007) - for which he was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Promotional Prize in 2008. These were followed by, among others, “Magma” (2008), “Böse Spiele” (2009), “Déjà-vu mit Pocahontas. Raritan River” (2010), and “Brenntage” (2011). According to the jury’s statement, “his stories are deeply human, particularly because they provide a literary portrayal of existential insecurities and fundamental fears held by the modern individual. By falling back on the traditions of early romanticism and surrealism, they reject simple realism. And in doing so, Michael Stavarič picks up on the artistic modernism of the early 20th century. In addition, he is also an outstanding figure in the contemporary literary world as an essayist, children’s book author, and translator.”

Akos Doma, born in Budapest in 1963, grew up in Hungary, Italy, and England, and came to Germany when he was 14 years old. His debut novel “Der Müßiggänger” was released in 2001, in 2010 he followed it up with “Die allgemeine Tauglichkeit.” Akos Doma is an author and translator. He lives with his family in Eichstätt, Germany. According to the jury, with his latest novel he “has created a linguistically clever and extremely funny crime caper. It is a subtle parable on the numerous unreasonable demands of our society. His style of storytelling is reminiscent of a European picaresque novel. The fast-paced and moving melodrama is an unusually entertaining literary adventure about four outsiders who head down close to every wrong path possible on their quest for a new identity with which they can live. His novel impressively demonstrates that the renowned translator of Hungarian texts is also an outstanding German author.”

Ilir Ferra, born in Durrës, Albania, in 1974, has lived in Vienna since 1991, where he studied translation studies (English and Italian). Today he works as an author, translator, and interpreter. His award-winning story “Halber Atem” was published in 2008. Ilir Ferra then released his debut German-language novel, “Rauchschatten,” in 2010. According to the jury’s statement, the novel, which takes place in the 1980s in the Albanian harbor city Dürres, stands out particularly due to its idiosyncratically metaphorical, linguistically persuasive depiction of sensory details: “The protagonist’s experiences, secrets, desires, and discoveries are told with a terse, often almost lyrical diction. They offer a sensitive look at the life of a family, a city, and a whole country that is shaped by an all-encompassing lack of freedom. Ilir Ferra shows how the shadows of an inhumane, paranoid, and omnipresent dictatorship reach deep into the souls of the people and cast a cloud over their lives.”

The 2012 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize jury comprises Gregor Dotzauer (Der Tagesspiegel newspaper), Zsuzsanna Gahse (author and recipient of the 2006 Chamisso Prize), Michael Krüger (author and publisher), Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (Goethe Institute), and Dorothea Westphal (Deutschlandradio Kultur radio station).

Deutschlandradio Kultur radio station is media partner of the 2012 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize.


Michael Herm
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-29
Press coordination
Susanne Meierhenrich
Phone: +49 (0)8121 2240925
Mobile: 0171 7421717

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Copyright: Robert Bosch Stiftung/Yves Noir