German love story ‘Kairos’ wins International Booker Prize

The winners of the International Booker Prize for the book “Kairos” were announced on Tuesday, including translator Michael Hofmann and writer Jenny Erpenbeck from Germany.

The book, which was first published in German, describes a young woman’s “destructive affair” with an older guy in East Berlin during the 1980s.

The renowned prize, valued at o50,000 ($62,000), is divided equally between the author and the translator. It is given out at an event held at London’s Tate Modern museum to honor international fiction works that have been translated into English.

Eleanor Wachtel, the chair of the 2024 judges, commended Erpenbeck for her “luminous prose” that evoked “the complexity of a relationship” and the vibe of East Berlin.

“It starts with love and passion, but it’s at least as much about power, art and culture,” she said.

“The self-absorption of the lovers, their descent into a destructive vortex, remains connected to the larger history of East Germany during this period, often meeting history at odd angles,” she added.

For Erpenbeck, who is also an opera director, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 represented a “breaking free”.

“What interested me is that breaking free is not the only thing that can be told in such a story,” she said in a statement.

“There are years before and years after,” she said.

The novel “Time Shelter” by Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov and translator Angela Rodel won the International Booker Prize last year, marking the first time a Bulgarian book has won the prize.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments