Stuttgart, December 8, 2015 – The writers and translators Esther Kinsky and Uljana Wolf will be awarded the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s 2016 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, worth 15,000 euros. Esther Kinsky will be honored for all of her work to date, in particular for her novel Am Fluss (Matthes & Seitz, 2014). According to the jury, she has "proven herself as a linguistically perceptive observer of human existence in the 21st century". Uljana Wolf will receive the Chamisso Prize for her work to date, in particular for her volume of poetry Meine schönste Lengevitch (kookbooks, 2013). "Her approximations of the foreign through playful reflection of linguistically conveyed reality are a successful example of future-oriented, cosmopolitan literature," said the jury.
"The literary work of both authors is so impressive that the jury chose two equally deserving winners of the main prize this year," says Uta-Micaela Dürig, Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. “We are therefore very pleased that we are able to honor two outstanding authors, Esther Kinsky and Uljana Wolf.”
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 32nd time in 2016.
The awards will be presented to the winners on March 3, 2016, at the Court Church of All Saints in the Munich Residenz. On March 4, the award winners will read from their works at the Munich Literaturhaus.
Esther Kinsky, born in Engelskirchen in 1956, lives in Berlin and in Battonya in Hungary. She works as a writer and translator. In her volume of essays, Fremdsprechen (2013), she reflects on the relationship between texts and their translations. Three volumes of her poetry have been published since 2010: die ungerührte schrift des jahrs (2010), Aufbruch nach Patagonien (2012), and Naturschutzgebiet (2013). Her novels include Sommerfrische (2010) and Banatsko (2014), as well as Am Fluss (2014), for which she was awarded the Kranichsteiner Literature Prize and the prize for the SWR Best Reads list. Esther Kinsky is to receive the Chamisso Prize for her work to date, in particular her novel, Am Fluss. In their statement, the jury said that Esther Kinsky manages to grasp "the dangers and the beauty of an existence that is thoroughly intercultural in bewitching verbal images. Her novel, Am Fluss, uses masterfully poetic prose to outline extraordinary landscapes at the bounds of reality that also always reflect the precarious spiritual sensitivities of life in this day and age."
Uljana Wolf, born in 1979 in Berlin, lives and works as a poet and translator in Berlin and New York. Her volume of poems, kochanie ich habe brot gekauft, was published in 2005, followed by falsche freunde in 2009, and her joint sonnet erasure project with Christian Hawkey, Sonne From Ort, in 2012. Uljana Wolf has also published the essay BOX OFFICE (2010) and multiple poetry translations. She has received numerous prizes for her literary works and translations, including the Peter Huchel Prize and the Dresden Poetry Prize. Uljana Wolf will receive the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize for her work to date, in particular for her volume of poems Meine schönste Lengevitch (2013). "As a poet, publisher and translator, Uljana Wolf is an unusually thoughtful crosser of borders between cultures," writes the jury. "The prose poems collected in her volume of poems Meine schönste Lengevitch imaginatively intertwine various languages with one another and challenge seemingly clear-cut identities in a productive way."
The 2016 Chamisso Prize jury is comprised of: Wolfgang Herles (literature critic), Michael Krüger (author and President of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts), Klaus-Dieter Lehmann (President of the Goethe Institute), Wiebke Porombka (literature critic), Denis Scheck (literature critic), Insa Wilke (literature critic), and Feridun Zaimoglu (author and Chamisso Prize winner in 2005).