Alfred Döblin Prize 2021
The Alfred Döblin Prize, awarded every two years by the Akademie der Kunst, together with Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, and endowed with € 15.000, celebrates Döblin as one of the most versatile German writers of modern times. We’re very happy to announce Deniz Utlu is the winner of this year’s award!
From the jury’s statement: "Deniz Utlu builds up the story of a father-son relationship in layers of memory. His narrator enters into an inner dialogue with the father that revolves around the existential themes of their lives: the emergence of masculinity, issues of destiny and spirituality, and experiences of migration and belonging. In an immediately touching and humorous language, he allows us to witness a family’s conflicts, celebrations and everyday life. Utlu opens up a geography of memory for German literature that stretches from Hanover in Germany far into Turkey and to the Syrian border.”
The award-winning novel will be published by Suhrkamp. Utlu’s last, turbulent novel was Gegen Morgen (Towards Morning). Hovering between reality and memory, the book investigates life and everything that defines us and shapes us as human beings, both starting with our past and as a projection of our future. A book that might appear challenging, but is definitely a worthwhile read: the constantly changing atmospheres that the author manages to create are extremely fascinating. The descriptions are vivid, striking and always fitting.