6 May 2023

Alfred Döblin Prize 2023 to Jan Kuhlbrodt

Jan Kuhlbrodt is the recipient of the Alfred Döblin Prize in 2023. Today, Saturday, 6 May 2023, the award winner was chosen among six authors participating in a public reading and discussion day at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB). Other nominated finalists were Roman Ehrlich, Franz Friedrich, Christina Griebel, Patricia Hempel and Thomas Hettche.

The jury ‒ Nico Bleutge, Gregor Dotzauer and Andrea Zederbauer ‒ explained its decision: “In Krüppeltext oder Vom Gehen, Jan Kuhlbrodt has written a multilayered work of prose that addresses his battle with multiple sclerosis with undaunted bravery, astonishing comedy and theoretical wit. He makes walking ‒ which has become most difficult for him in the interim ‒ into the leitmotif of an experiential scenic panorama. Through it, Kuhlbrodt processes memories, reflections and self-observations in a ‘Song of Songs’ drawing a line from Sören Kierkegaard to Antonio Gramsci. The paper world of books becomes his alternative reality, in which a utopian world without gravity exists. Kuhlbrodt artfully and repeatedly balances desperation with a fine sensitivity for sensory and linguistic nuances.”

Jan Kuhlbrodt (b. 1966 in Karl-Marx-Stadt) lives and works in Leipzig as a freelance writer. He studied political economics at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. From 1997 to 2001, he completed his degree at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig (DLL). In addition to teaching positions at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (hmt-leipzig), he was a guest professor at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut. Kuhlbrodt was managing director and editor-in-chief of the literary journal EDIT from 2007 to 2010. His recent publications include Schrift unter Tage (2023) and Die Rückkehr der Tiere (2020).

The Award Ceremony is tomorrow, Sunday, 7 May 2023, at the Akademie der Künste on Pariser Platz. In addition to a reading from the prize-winning manuscript and a talk with Jan Kuhlbrodt, Deniz Utlu (the 2021 award winner) will give a speech about Alfred Döblin. The event begins at 11:30 am. Free admission.

The Alfred Döblin Prize, which since its founding by Günter Grass in 1979 has been awarded every two years for an unfinished prose manuscript, is organised by the Akademie der Künste and the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. In the spirit of its founder, it commemorates Alfred Döblin as one of the most versatile German writers of the modern age. The Alfred Döblin Prize, endowed with €15,000, is awarded for the 24th time this year. The award’s most recent recipients were Deniz Utlu (2021), Ulrich Woelk (2019) and María Cecilia Barbetta (2017).

See the Press Release from 25 April 2023