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Stefanie vor Schulte awarded the Mara Cassens Prize 2021 for Boy with a Black Rooster

We are proud and happy to announce that Stefanie vor Schulte is awarded the ›Mara Cassens Prize‹ by the Hamburg House of Literature for Boy with a Black Rooster. The winner of the ›Mara Cassens Prize‹ receives EUR 20’000 – the highest honorarium of all German language literary awards for debut novels. With this very generous award the Hamburg House of Literature aims to provide successful debut authors with an opportunity to dedicate themselves fully to their writing career. Awarded since 1970, the ›Mara Cassens Prize‹ was named in honour of its donor in 1991. This year the jury, comprised of 15 members, chose from a longlist of 65 debut novels.

The jury says: »In a clear and visual language, the author blends past and present without losing herself in short-term political questions. By blurring the lines between fact and fiction and by adding surreal elements, vor Schulte spins a magical, almost dystopian tale. With a great flair for language, she describes both cruel and tender experiences of the protagonists, which dismay and delight readers in equal measure. Through skillful mutations, vor Schulte draws the reader back from blank horror into the present, thus casting a spell on her readers. Boy with a Black Rooster is a fascinating, exciting story full of poetic power, which creates pictures in a language reduced to its essence. This makes the book the best debut novel of the year.«

The award ceremony will be held on 12 January 2022 at the Hamburg House of Literature.


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