Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding

The Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding is one of the most prestigious literature prizes in Germany. It has been awarded annually since 1994 and comes with prize money of 20,000 euros. The prize committee includes the Free State of Saxony, the City of Leipzig, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V. (The German Publishers and Booksellers Association) and Leipziger Messe.

1st Place Winner Johny Pitts (image source: © Jamie Stoker)

Johny Pitts is the 1st Place Winner 2021

The Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding 2021 will be awarded to the British essayist, writer and photographer Johny Pitts for his book "Afropean. Notes from Black Europe". This thoughtful book weaves together reports and literary essays to create a contemporary portrait in search of a postcolonial identity. It was published in September 2020 by Suhrkamp in Berlin. The work was translated from English to German by Helmut Dierlamm. The award ceremony for Johny Pitts will take place as part of Leipzig liest extra on the evening of 26 May 2021. The laudatory speech will be given by Editor, Publisher and Literary Agent, Elisabeth Ruge.

During the same ceremony, 2020 winner László Földényi will also be retrospectively honoured, since the previous Book Fair was not able to take place due to corona.

Critical and Fair: The Jury for the Award Year 2021

  • Skadi Jennicke (Mayor for Culture of the City of Leipzig)
  • Michael Krüger (author, publisher, translator, Munich)
  • Johannes Riis (publisher, Copenhagen)
  • Elisabeth Ruge (author, publisher, literary agent, Berlin)
  • Daniela Strigl (essayist, critic, lecturer, Vienna)

Previous Award Winners

  • 2020: László Földényi (Hungary)
  • 2019: Masha Gessen (USA)
  • 2018: Åsne Seierstad (Norway)
  • 2017: Mathias Énard (France)
  • 2016: Heinrich August Winkler (Germany)
  • 2015: Mircea Cărtărescu (Romania)
  • 2014: Pankaj Mishra (India)
  • 2013: Klaus-Michael Bogdal (Germany)
  • 2012: Ian Kershaw und Timothy Snyder (Great Britain and USA)
  • 2011: Martin Pollack (Austria)
  • 2010: György Dalos (Germany)
  • 2009: Karl Schlögel (Germany)
  • 2008: Geert Mak (Netherlands)
  • 2007: Gerd Koenen (Germany) und Michail Ryklin (Russia)
  • 2006: Juri Andruchowytsch (Ukraine)
  • 2005: Slavenka Drakulić (Croatia), lebt in Stockholm, Wien und Sovinjak (Croatia)
  • 2004: Dževad Karahasan (Bosnia & Herzegovina), lebt in Graz und Sarajevo
    (Recognition Award: Gábor Csordás, Hungary)
  • 2003: Hugo Claus (Belgium)
    (Recognition Award: Barbara Antkowiak, Germany)
  • 2002: Bora Ćosić (Croatia), lebt in Rovinj (Croatia) und Berlin
    (Recognition Award: Ludvik Kundera, Czech Republic)
  • 2001: Claudio Magris (Italy)
    (Recognition Award: Norbert Randow, Germany)
  • 2000: Hanna Krall (Poland)
    (Recognition Award: Peter Urban, Germany)

Your contact

Kerstin Grüner
Project Management International Issues, Music, Book art and Graphics, Anitquariatsmesse