Austrian Book Prize: Baar, Schmalz and Flor on the shortlist

Four female and male authors are on the shortlist for the Austrian Book Prize 2021, which is endowed with 20,000 euros: In addition to Ferdinand Schmalz’s debut novel “My Favorite Animal Is Winter”, Anna Baar with “Nil”, Daniela Chana with “Neun seltsame Frauen”, Olga Flor nominated with “Morituri” and Raphaela Edelbauer with “DAVE”. The award ceremony will take place on November 8th.

The jury praised Baars “Nil” as a “small, playful subtle novel about the power and depth of good stories, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, thoughtful or sentimental, but always unpredictable”. According to the reasoning, Chana places “strange women and fantasies, nine muse associations at the center of her female exploratory prose and cleverly and literarily skillfully relies on fantastic encounters and surprising twists and turns in the middle of modern reality”. According to the jury, Edelbauer tells “elegantly and pointedly, with bilious wit, pleasure in allusion and repeatedly astonishing twists and turns of the powerlessness of the individual in a dictatorship of do-gooders”.

“The artistic language of Olga Flor’s novel ‘Morituri’ makes the abyss of Austrian present-day reality, which she picks up on, seem even more gruesome and tragicomic,” said the jury, who praised Ferdinand Schmalz’s “slang-like elliptical and often torn sentences” . His debut novel is “anything but a realistic novel, everything in it is artificial – and therefore all the more revealing, especially when it comes to depicting the helplessness of the individual as a particle in a mercilessly ignorant social cosmos”.

Teresa Präauer (“Happiness is a bean”), Hanno Millesi “The charm of long ways”, Sophie Reyer (“1431”), Franz Schuh (“Lachen und Dieben”) did not make the jump from the long list to the short list. ) and Monika Helfer (“Vati”), who still has a chance of winning the German Book Prize. As previously announced, Anna Albinus with the “Revolver Christi” published by edition.fotoTAPETA, Anna Felnhofer with her recently published episode novel “Schnittbild” (Luftschacht Verlag) and Clemens Bruno are on the shortlist for the debut prize endowed with 10,000 euros Gatzmaga with “Jacob no longer dreams”, published by the Karl Rauch publishing house.

The Austrian Book Prize is organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Main Association of the Austrian Book Trade and the Vienna Chamber of Labor. Last year the award went to Xaver Bayer for his book “Stories with Marianne”, the debut prize to Leander Fischer for his 780 page novel “Die Forelle”.

The expert jury for the Austrian Book Prize 2021 consists of Tilman Eder (bookseller, Erlkönig bookstore), Walter Grond (writer, head of the European Literature Days), Manuela Reichart (literary critic, WDR), Daniela Strigl (literary critic and Germanist, University of Vienna) and Peter Zimmermann (journalist, ORF) together.

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