Eugen Ruge Wins the German Book Prize 2011 for his Novel "In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts"

By German Publishers And Booksellers Association, PRNE
Sunday, October 9, 2011

FRANKFURT, Germany, October 10, 2011 -

The winner of the German Book Prize 2011 is Eugen Ruge for his novel “In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts” (Rowohlt). “Eugen Ruge’s family saga is a reflection of East German history. He manages to tame the experiences of four generations over 50 years into a dramatically refined composition. His book tells the story of the socialist utopia, the price demanded of the individual, and its gradual extinction. At the same time, his novel is distinguished by its great entertainment value and strong sense of humour”, said the seven-member jury in explaining its decision. Jury members for the German Book Prize 2011 include: Gregor Dotzauer (Der Tagesspiegel), Ulrike Draesner (author), Clemens-Peter Haase (Late, Goethe Institute), Ina Hartwig (independent critic), Christine Westermann (Westdeutscher Rundfunk), Uwe Wittstock (Focus) and jury spokeswoman Maike Albath (journalist for Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur).

“The response to the selection process that has been a part of the German Book Prize since its inception has given me the impression that the German literature that has emerged in recent years can stand up to the comparison it has been exposed to through the German Book Prize. In the concert of international literature, it can not only be heard, but thanks to the German Book Prize, it has also achieved its very own intrinsic voice”, said Prof. Dr. Gottfried Honnefelder, director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and chairman of the Akademie Deutscher Buchpreis, in his opening address to approximately 400 guests in the Kaisersaal of the Römer.

With the German Book Prize 2011, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung honours the best German-language novel of the year to coincide with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair. For additional information, film clips from the press conference and a schedule of the winner’s appearances at the Frankfurt Book Fair, visit

Contact for the media:

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.
Claudia Paul, Director Press and Public Relations
Telephone +49(0)69-1306-293, E-mail:
Johannes Neufeld, Press Assistant
Telephone +49(0)69-1306-292, E-mail:


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