The winner of the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023 is Ewald Frie for his book “Ein Hof und elf Geschwister. Der stille Abschied vom bäuerlichen Leben in Deutschland” (“A Farm and Eleven Siblings. The Quiet Farewell to Rural Life in Germany”) (C.H.Beck).
Statement from the jury:
“People everywhere are quietly bidding farewell to rural life. Ewald Frie takes a surprising and personal perspective on this process of change. Using his family from the Münsterland region as an example, he describes tensions that have developed between town and country, and which we are currently grappling with intensely. With his astonishingly simple yet also poetic language – always empathetic, never nostalgic – Frie allows us to enter a world in transition. Based on interviews with his siblings, Ewald Frie has written a profound work of historical non-fiction that is also accessible and entertaining. This history of everyday life is rooted in details that are easy to overlook and from which great ideas develop. An inspiring example of innovative historiography.”
The members of the jury for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023 are: Julika Griem (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities [KWI] Essen), Stefan Koldehoff (Deutschlandfunk), Michael Lemling (“Buchhandlung Lehmkuhl” bookshop), Markus Rex (Alfred Wegener Institute), Jeanne Rubner (Technical University of Munich), Adam Soboczynski (Die ZEIT) and Mirjam Zadoff (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism).
The following books were also nominated for the award: Omri Boehm, Radikaler Universalismus. Jenseits von Identität (Propyläen); Teresa Bücker, Alle_Zeit. Eine Frage von Macht und Freiheit (Ullstein); Judith Kohlenberger, Das Fluchtparadox. Über unseren widersprüchlichen Umgang mit Vertreibung und Vertriebenen (Kremayr & Scheriau); Meron Mendel, Über Israel reden. Eine deutsche Debatte (Kiepenheuer & Witsch); Hanno Sauer, Moral. Die Erfindung von Gut und Böse (Piper); Martin Schulze Wessel, Der Fluch des Imperiums. Die Ukraine, Polen und der Irrweg in der russischen Geschichte (C.H.Beck) and Elisabeth Wellershaus, Wo die Fremde beginnt. Über Identität in der fragilen Gegenwart (C.H.Beck).
The Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) is awarding the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023 in recognition of the non-fiction book of the year, an original German-language edition of an outstanding work of non-fiction that inspires social debate.
The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main supporter of the prize, which is also backed by the city of Hamburg and the foundation ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth is patron of the prize.