International Booker Prize

  • 22 May 2024

On 21st May, 2024, German author Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Michael Hofmann won the International Booker Prize for fiction for their work on "Kairos".

  • "Kairos" tells the story of a love affair against the backdrop of the final years of East Germany, countering the limited narrative depicted in the film "The Lives of Others."
  • The novel beat five other finalists out of 149 submissions, earning the £50,000 prize, split between Erpenbeck and Hofmann.
  • Eleanor Wachtel, chair of the judging panel, praised the book for its rich depiction of a personal and national transformation.
  • Erpenbeck, born and raised in East Berlin, drew from her experiences to portray the period leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • The International Booker Prize promotes fiction translated into English and highlights the work of literary translators.
  • Erpenbeck is the first German winner of the prize, and Hofmann is the first male translator to win since 2016.