The books in this selection vary in style, themes, scope and methods. But they all explore the world in their own unique way and get to the bottom of things. Their authors want to understand before they explain; they avoid well-trodden paths and confront history as well as the present. Their view – of others and of themselves – is unsparing. They each come with very different experiences and knowledge – and, not content with just these, explore new territory through their writing. Doubt, curiosity and a measure of tenacity consume and drive them. In search of insight rather than affirmation, they ask questions that are larger than their respective subjects. In this way, they inspire a broad, inquisitive readership.
The German Non-Fiction Prize is presented to the non-fiction book of the year as an annual award of the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading). The award will be presented to outstanding non-fiction written in German that inspires social debate. The German Non-Fiction Prize is endowed with a total of 42,500 euros. The winner receives 25,000 euros, the seven nominees 2,500 euros each.
Publishers could submit two German-language monographs each from their current or planned programme. The seven members of the jury have reviewed 240 titles and nominated eight non-fiction books for the award. Now they have chosen the German Non-Fiction Book of the Year from this selection.
The award ceremony took place on 14 June 2021 at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. It was hosted by René Aguigah (Deutschlandfunk Kultur) and Katrin Schumacher (MDR), who talked to jury spokesperson Dr Kia Vahland, President of the Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels Karin Schmidt-Friderichs and Prof Dr Hartmut Dorgerloh, general director of the Humboldt Forum.
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