Brücke Berlin Prize for Hours of Lead

The Czech author Radka Denemarková and her translator Eva Profousová receive the Brücke Berlin Literature and Translation Prize of the BHF BANK Foundation.

The Brücke Berlin Literature and Translation Prize 2022 goes to Czech author Radka Denemarková and her translator Eva Profousová for the novel Hours of Lead, which was published in German translation by Hoffmann & Campe Verlag earlier this year.

The jury explains:

Hours of Lead is an attempt, as bold as it is successful, to create a global picture of our violent present with the means of poetry and autofiction, and in the process to reveal historical entanglements – without giving away the promise of true democracy. Radka Denemarková fearlessly raises her voice even in repressive China and continues the tradition of the great Václav Havel with both her literary work and her political commitment. She has been receiving international acclaim for this for a long time. Eva Profousová translates her multi-layered prose with lyrical parts and essayistic passages precisely and resourcefully into a lively, resonant German and maintains the tension from the first to the last page of this in every respect weighty work.”

The award ceremony will take place on 10th October 2022 at 7 pm at the Deutsches Theater Berlin.

The Brücke Berlin Prize is awarded every two years by the BHF BANK Foundation in cooperation with the Literary Colloquium Berlin and the Deutsches Theater Berlin. The patron of the prize is Herta Müller. Jürgen Jakob Becker, Sabine Berking, Ulrich Khuon, Patricia Klobusiczky, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann and Olga Radetzkaja were members of the jury.

With the Brücke Berlin Prize, the BHF BANK Foundation draws attention to the contemporary fiction literature of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, whose voices help to shape cultural exchange and the process of further European understanding. In addition, the prize is intended to honour the artistic achievements of literary translators in particular, who play an essential role in the important work of mediation.

Winners of the Brücke Berlin Prize:

2022 Radka Denemarková and Eva Profousová for „Stunden aus Blei“ (Hoffmann & Campe)

2020 Maria Stepanova and Olga Radetzkaja for „Nach dem Gedächtnis“ (Suhrkamp)

2018 Zaza Burchuladze and Natia Mikeladse-Bachsoliani for „Touristenfrühstück“ (Blumenbar Verlag)

2016 Szczepan Twardoch and Olaf Kühl for „Drach“ (Rowohlt)

2014 Serhij Zhadan and Sabine Stöhr/Juri Durkot for „Die Erfindung des Jazz im Donbass“ (Suhrkamp)

2012 Péter Nádas and Christina Viragh for „Parallelgeschichten“ (Rowohlt)

2010 László Krasnahorkai and Heike Flemming for „Seiōbo auf Erden“ (S. Fischer)

2008 Andrej Bitow and Rosemarie Tietze for „Das Puschkinhaus“ (Suhrkamp)

2006 David Albahari and Mirjana and Klaus Wittmann for „Mutterland“ (Eichborn)

2004 László Darvasi and Heinrich Eisterer for „Die Legende von den Tränengauklern“ (Suhrkamp)

2002 Olga Tokarczuk and Esther Kinsky for „Taghaus, Nachthaus“ (DVA)

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Photo by Soňa Pokorná

Radka Denemarková: Stunden aus Blei. Novel. Translated from Czech by Eva Profousová. 880 pp., hardcover, EUR 32,90 (Verlag Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg)

Buy German edition