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Empowering Female Voices: The BücherFrauen-Literaturpreis Shortlist Announced

Germany’s BücherFrauen-Literaturpreis Shortlist

The prestigious BücherFrauen-Literaturpreis, or Book Women Prize, is set to spotlight another outstanding female author during the upcoming Frankfurter Buchmesse. A worthy successor to Mely Kiyak, the award's 2021 recipient for her book Frausein (Womanhood), will soon be announced.

Initiated by BücherFrauen, a network supporting women in the German-language publishing industry, this biennial award acknowledges their notable contributions. 

Modeled after England's Women in Publishing organization, BücherFrauen has amassed a community of nearly 900 members since its establishment in 1990. This collective comprises publishers, booksellers, translators, literary agents, and industry professionals.

The prize's nomination process is collaborative, with regional chapters of Women in Publishing Germany each contributing their book choice. A distinguished jury then refines this list to present the strongest contenders.

Meet the 2023 jury:

  • Anita Djafari, book publicist, Literature Council of Hesse board member, and German Cross of Merit recipient
  • Maria-Christina Piwowarski, bookseller and podcaster
  • Karen Nölle, translator, editor, and author

On October 19, the jury will unveil this cycle's winner during the Frankfurter Buchmesse, followed by a grand award ceremony on November 10 at Literaturhaus Erfurt. The winner will receive a €10,000 cash prize (they will split the prize if it's a translated work) and a unique "Christine" figurine crafted by Swiss artist Kassandra Becker.

This award symbolizes the spirit of French writer Christine de Pizan, a beacon for gender equality and women's empowerment. The BücherFrauen Award especially resonates with Pizan's work and life, honoring authors who challenge gender norms and champion women's rights.

Shortlisted works include: 

  • Shida Bazyar - Drei Kameradinnen (Sisters in Arms), Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne.
  • Mareike Fallwickl - Die Wut, die bleibt (The Rage that Remains), Rowohlt, Hamburg.
  • Odile Kennel - Lust, Verlagshaus Berlin, Berlin.
  • Sofi Oksanen - Hundepark (Dog Park), Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne.
  • Sharon Dodua Otoo - Adas Raum (Ada’s Realm), S. Fischer, Frankfurt.
  • Slata Roschal - Formen des Nichtseins (153 Forms of Non-Being), Homunculus, Erlangen.

For self-published authors, the BücherFrauen-Literaturpreis is a testament to women’s enduring and evolving roles in literature and a beacon for what they can achieve with their voices.

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