HOLDBACK PERIOD with Fernanda Melchor and Angelica Ammar

Trafalgar Square 2004 | © Matt Stuart / MAPS.

The Mexican author Fernanda Melchor and the translator Angelica Ammar will be awarded the 2019 Internationaler Literaturpreis for the novel Saison der Wirbelstürme and its translation into German. The award is endowed with €35,000; €20,000 for the author and €15,000 for the translator.

Statement of the jury:

“Fernanda Melchor has written the novel of poverty in twenty-first century global capitalism, the novel of poverty born of violence against women, against homosexuals, against those who are weaker. The novel of the merciless struggle of the weakest against the even weaker and against themselves. The novel of destruction that doesn’t care if it becomes self-destruction because the difference doesn’t matter anymore. Hurricane Season is not a novel that takes up the cause of criticizing capitalism. But it still deserves this award as a political novel. In her translation, Angelica Ammar has spread out a carpet of words and meaning that readers can trust; its solidity never fades. She mastered the many challenges of the original with great elegance, always fully understanding. Her translation is a tremendous achievement.”

The award ceremony will open with a keynote by Teju Cole, who received the 2013 Internationaler Literaturpreis. After his talk, this year’s awardees will be announced by the jury and honored with a speech by Robin Detje. In a conversation with Daniel Medin, the author and the translator will present their work, shedding light on the real events on which the novel is based.

Following the award ceremony, the audience is invited to mingle with the participants on the roof terrace over drinks and music.

The author 

Fernanda Melchor, born in Veracruz, Mexico in 1982, writes novels and features (crónicas) for which she has been awarded numerous prizes. She lives in Puebla and is considered one of the most talented writers of her generation. Her debut novel, Falsa liebre was published in 2013, as was her collection of crónicas Aquí no es Miami. Her second novel Temporada de huracanes (Saison der Wirbelstürme) was published simultaneously in several countries, including the USA, Italy, France and the UK.

The translator 

Angelica Ammar was born and raised in Munich. After a long stay in Ghana, she studied Romance languages and ethnology in Munich, Madrid and Paris, where she lived for ten years. She moved to Barcelona in 2007. Her debut novel Tolmedo was awarded the Jürgen-Ponto-Stiftung literature prize in 2006. Her second novel, Die Zeit der grünen Mandeln, was published in 2010. She has translated Sergio Pitol, Mario Vargas Llosa, Rita Indiana, Gioconda Belli, Eduardo Galeano and Horacio Quiroga, among others, from Spanish.

The 2019 jury

Robin Detje, Jens Hillje, Tobias Lehmkuhl, Verena Lueken, Daniel Medin, Elisabeth Ruge, Daniela Seel

The 11th Internationaler Literaturpreis 2019 goes to Fernanda Melchor and Angelica Ammar for Saison der Wirbelstürme (Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, 2019)

Announcement of the awardees and award ceremony: 
Tuesday, June 18, 7 pm
Keynote by Teju Cole
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin
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