Heinrich Mann Prize 2017:
Gisela von Wysocki
The Heinrich Mann Prize 2017 has been awarded to Gisela von Wysocki, a Berlin novelist, essayist, critic, and theatre and radio playwright. The awarding jury comprised Friedrich Dieckmann, Matthias Weichelt and Gunnar Decker, last year’s winner. Born in Berlin, Gisela von Wysocki studied with, among others, Theodor W. Adorno before launching a career as an essayist mainly exploring the outsiders of modernist literature. Her writing’s extraordinary breadth and versatility is evident not only in her many essays, plays, and literary criticism, but most recently in her two novels Wir machen Musik. Geschichte einer Suggestion (2010) and Wiesengrund (2016). The jury particularly highlighted her literary language in her essays, which “always starts from and evokes tangible and sensual experiences”. The jury also noted how Gisela von Wysocki’s two novels successfully transform “the poetically illuminated moments in life into something large-scale, in which fictional and autobiographical aspects flow together.” The laudatory address is by Lothar Müller; after the acceptance speech, Hanns Zischler reads texts by Heinrich Mann.