Press Releases 2015
Press Release

Sherko Fatah to Receive the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s 2015 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize

Patronage Awards Go to Olga Grjasnowa and Martin Kordić

Stuttgart, January 21, 2015 – Sherko Fatah will be awarded the 2015 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, valued at 15,000 euros, for his prior body of work – in particular for his latest novel Der letzte Ort (The Last Place), published in 2014 by Luchterhand, in which he tells the story of the kidnapping of a German and his Arabian translator in Iraq. According to the jury, in his book, Sherko Fatah "opens up a new and highly topical subject to contemporary German literature." This year’s patronage awards, valued at 7,000 euros each, will go to Olga Grjasnowa for her second novel Die juristische Unschärfe einer Ehe (The legal blurriness of a marriage), published in 2014 by Hanser, as well as to Martin Kordić for his debut novel Wie ich mir das Glück vorstelle (What I imagine happiness is like), also published in 2014 by Hanser. The Robert Bosch Stiftung awards the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize to honor outstanding German-language authors whose work is shaped by a change of culture. Furthermore, the award winners are united through their unusual way of using the language in a manner which enriches German literature. This makes the prize the only one of its kind in Germany. It will be awarded for the 31st time in 2015.

The awards will be presented to the winners on March 5, 2015, at the Court Church of All Saints in the Munich Residenz. On March 6, 2015, the award winners will read from the works at the Literaturhaus München.

Sherko Fatah was born in 1964 in East Berlin, his father an Iraqi Kurd and his mother a German. He grew up in East Germany and moved with his family to West Berlin in 1975. There he studied philosophy and art history. His narrative work has received numerous awards. Sherko Fatah is being awarded the 2015 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize for his prior body of work, in particular for his latest novel Der letzte Ort (The Last Place). According to the jury’s statement, "his books enrich intercultural literary writing through their brutally honest depiction of war and terror. In this context, at the heart of these intense linguistic works of art are the nuanced innermost thoughts of the victims suf-fering from inhumane cruelty and their hope for a peaceful and humane world, which can never be extinguished."

Olga Grjasnowa, born in 1984 in Baku, Azerbaijan, grew up in the Caucasus. Longer periods of time spent in Poland, Russia, and Israel followed. She is a graduate of the Institute of German Literature Leipzig. She is currently studying Dance Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. She was awarded the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Border Crossers scholarship in 2011 to conduct research for her first novel, Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt (All Russians Love Birch Trees), which was published in 2012. She followed her debut novel in 2014 with her latest, Die juristische Unschärfe einer Ehe (The legal blurriness of a marriage). According to the jury: "In her novels, Olga Grjasnowa expresses an extremely contemporary rejection of rigid clichés related to national, social, and sexual identity. Her characters are quite natural as transcultural nomads of the 21st century. They are on a search for the appropriate form of happiness for themselves – sometimes sad and distraught, but never wallowing in self-pity. The laconic, cool tone of the novels is filled with captivating and completely independent imaginative spirit."

Martin Kordić was born in Celle, Germany, in 1983 and works as a lecturer in Cologne. He studied at the Institut für Literarisches Schreiben at the University of Hildesheim and at the University of Zagreb. In its statement, the jury said of his debut novel, Wie ich mir das Glück vorstelle (What I imagine happiness is like): "In quickly alternating fragments, Martin Kordić tells the painful story of a child – sometimes from the perspective of the Bosnian boy Viktor, who has been severely disabled since he was a child, and sometimes in the third person – who has never known anything but the infinite atrocity of war. Viktor’s supposedly naive, occasionally magical language stands in stark contrast to the often extremely inhumane events upon which he reports. This delicately poetic language is what gives the novel its literary noteworthiness."

The 2015 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize jury is comprised of: Gregor Dotzauer (literature critic), Wolfgang Herles (literature critic), Michael Krüger (author and president of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts), Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (president of the Goethe Institute), Denis Scheck (literature critic), Dorothea Westphal (literature critic), and Feridun Zaimoglu (author and Chamisso Prize winner in 2005).

The award winners will be available to speak with members of the press on February 2, 2015, in Stuttgart and February 3, 2015, in Munich. Appointments will be made individually, and we ask that you contact us personally.

Contact

Michael Herm
Phone: +49 711 46084-290
Susanne Meierhenrich
Phone: +49 (0)171 742 17 17

Press Photos

Credit: Yves Noir / Robert Bosch Stiftung.