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Dževad Karahasan receives Goethe Prize 2020

07.05.2020

This year’s Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt (endowed with €50.000) is awarded to the Bosnian author Dževad Karahasan (Graz/Sarajevo). His multifarious œuvre includes novels, plays, essays, and theoretical texts that all share a progressive, conciliatory impetus. It is an œuvre dedicated to the mediation between East and West, between Islam and Christianity.

The Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt is awarded every three years on August 28, the birthday of Johann Wolfgang Goethe, to a person who »asserts themselves through their work and is worthy of an honour dedicated to the memory of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe«. Most recent recipients of the prize include Amos Oz (2005), Pina Bausch (2008) and Adonis (2011). In the past, the prize was awarded to the likes of Sigmund Freud (1930), Hermann Hesse (1946) and Thomas Mann (1949).

The jury states that: »With Dževad Karahasan we honour a great European writer. Born in Sarajevo to Muslim parents, he knows about the fragility of the coexistence of different religions and cultures. In his impressive novels and essays the foreign within the self comes to life. His artistic guiding star is the universalist Goethe, to whom he continusouly shows his literary reverence. Karahasan, a literary bridge builder, is indispensable to the intellectual climate in Europa.«

Dževad Karahasan, born in Duvno/Yugoslavia in 1953, is an author, playwright and essayist. He studied Literary and Theatre Studies in Sarajevo, obtained his doctorate in Zagreb and taught dramatic theory and history of theatre at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo. In 1993, Karahasan fled the battle-stricken city that plays a pivotal role in his writings. The Siege of Sarajevo was the subject of the diary Exodus from a City (1993), translated into ten languages, of the essay collection entitled The Book of Gardens (2004) and of his novels The Rink of Shahrijar (1997) and Sara and Serafina (2000). His works also include the novel The Nocturnal Council (2006), Reports from a Dark World (200), a collection of stories, and the novel The Solace of the Night Sky (2016). Most recently, Suhrkamp Verlag published the story collection A House for the Wearied (2019). His works have been distinguished with numerous awards, including the Bruno Kreisky Prize for Political Books (1995), the Herder Prize (1999), the Leipzig Book Prize for European Relations (2004) and the Vilenica Prize (2010). Karahasan lives in Graz and Sarajevo.

For more information please visit the author's Foreign Rights Website or contact the respective Rights Manager.

Reports from a Dark World
Dževad Karahasan
Reports from a Dark World
The Book of Gardens
Dževad Karahasan
The Book of Gardens
The Shadows of Cities
Dževad Karahasan
The Shadows of Cities
A House for the Wearied
Dževad Karahasan
A House for the Wearied
Night Council
Dževad Karahasan
Night Council
Sara and Serafina
Dževad Karahasan
Sara and Serafina
The Solace of the Night Sky
Dževad Karahasan
The Solace of the Night Sky