The winner of the German Book Prize is Tonio Schachinger. He received the award for his novel “Echtzeitalter” (Rowohlt Verlag).
“At first glance, Tonio Schachinger’s The True Age appears to be a school novel. The second is much more than that: a social novel that describes the upbringing of its hero even in an elite Viennese institution, where the best future performers are prepared for life by reactionary training and the ideals of the educated middle class.” From this oppressive environment, embodied by the Mephistophelian master Dolinar, Thiel takes refuge in the world of games. Schachinger reflects on the political and social conditions of the present with subtle irony: brute force speaks from educated schoolchildren. The world of computer games offers a place for imagination and freedom. The jury said in its statement: “It addresses The text is an issue of the social status of literature in a distinctive narrative and contemporary way.”
The jury of the German Book Prize 2023 consists of:
- Sheila Bhagat (journalist and media personality)
- Heinz Droege (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)
- Melanie Mall (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
- Lisa Schumacher (Steinmetz’sche Library, Offenbach)
- Jury spokeswoman Katharina Teich (freelance critic)
- Florian Valerius (Backlight Library, Trier)
- Matthias Weichelt (Sense and Form magazine)
The following were also nominated for the award:
- Theresia Moura: Mona or Half-Life (Luchterhand Literaturverlag)
- Necati Ozeri: Father Mark (Claassen)
- Anne Raab: The Possibility of Happiness (Klet Kuta)
- Sylvie Schenk: Maman (Karl Hanser Verlag)
- Ulrike Sterblich: The Wanderer (Rowholt of the Hundred Eyes)
Tonio Schachinger receives a financial prize of 25,000 euros; Each of the five finalists will receive €2,500. The winning title was determined in several selection stages. Since the start of the competition, the seven judges have viewed 196 titles published between October 2022 and September 2023. A long list of 20 titles has been compiled from these novels. The jury selected six titles for the shortlist. The award ceremony was held at the Kaisersaal in Frankfurt-Römer.
With the German Book Prize 2023, the Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Book Trade Association honors the German-language novel of the year. The main sponsor of the German Book Prize is the Deutsche Bank Foundation, and other partners are the Frankfurt Book Fair and the City of Frankfurt am Main. Deutsche Welle supports the German Book Prize in its media work at home and abroad.
State Secretary for Arts and Culture Andrea Meyer congratulates Tonio Schachinger on the 2023 German Book Prize at APA OTS: “There are many coming-of-age stories, and boarding school novels also have a long tradition in Austrian literature, if we think of Törleß by Robert Musil or In Gerber’s student Friedrich Torberg. And with the novel “The True Age” by Tonio Schachinger, the genre has now reached the 21st century, with the contradictory main character Till Kokorda at the center, who hopes to find happiness in online games. “Tonio has arrived Schachinger is shortlisted for the 2019 German Book Prize with his debut. The fact that he won this award with his second book speaks of the great talent and literary power of the young storyteller from Austria. I would like to greatly congratulate him on this beautiful and prestigious honor for his work with the German Book Prize. It is an honor for all contemporary Austrian literature that one of its representatives can stand out among the large number of first-class candidates in the German-speaking world of writers.