Kim de l'Horizon receives the German Book Prize 2022 for the novel "Blutbuch". This was announced by the jury on Monday evening at the ceremony in Frankfurt. The German Book Prize honors the best German-language novel of the year. The award is endowed with 25,000 euros. Kim de l'Horizon was born in Switzerland and sees himself neither clearly as a man nor as a woman. This theme also characterizes the novel that was published by DuMont.
"With enormous creative energy, the non-binary narrative character in Kim de l'Horizon's novel "Blood Book" searches for his own language," was the verdict of the book prize jury. "What narratives are there for a body that defies conventional notions of gender?" The novel form is in constant motion: "Every attempt at language, from the vivid scene to the essay-like memoir, develops an urgency and literary innovative power that provokes and inspires the jury."
During the acceptance speech, Kim de l'Horizon shaved his head out of solidarity with women in Iran: "This award isn't just for me." After the announcement in Frankfurt's Römer, Kim de l'Horizon first stormed into the audience to hug companions. After that, Kim de l'Horizon tearfully thanked her own mother and then sang a song spontaneously and unaccompanied. The price is also "a sign against hate and for love".
Kim de l'Horizon deliberately leaves his own biography vague: the blurb says: "born 2666". According to the stock exchange association, Kim de l'Horizon was born near Bern in 1992, studied German, film and theater studies in Zurich and literary writing in Biel. "Blutbuch", a debut, was previously awarded the Literature Prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation.
Six finalists were last on the so-called shortlist. In addition to Kim de l'Horizon, Fatma Aydemir ("Dschinns"), Kristine Bilkau ("Next Door"), Daniela Dröscher ("Lies about my mother"), Jan Factor ("Idiot") and Eckhart Nickel ("Spitzweg") . The five nominees on the shortlist each receive EUR 2,500. The jury viewed a total of 233 titles.
The German Book Prize would like to draw attention "to the complexity of German-language literature," said Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, head of the German Book Trade Association, at the award ceremony: "an invitation to expand the limits of our own perception each other out of our filter bubbles, move us and others to think, rethink and think ahead."