The Austrian writer Norbert Gstrein will receive the Thomas Mann Prize 2021. This was announced by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, who jointly award the 25,000 euro prize. Norbert Gstrein, born in 1961, became famous in 1988 with his debut “One” (1988), an oppressive village story from the Tyrolean mountains from which he comes. This was followed by novels, essays and stories, such as “The English Years” (1999), a story of emigration and confusion from the Second World War, the war novel “The craft of killing (2003), and most recently the novel “The Second Jacob” (2021), with the Gstrein on the long list of the German Book Prize stands. In “The Second Jacob” he once again devotes himself to the unresolved questions of the debut and examines whether one can overcome the guilt one has incurred in the course of one’s life by telling the story.
The jury justified the decision in favor of Norbert Gstrein with the fact that he was one of the “most virtuoso German-speaking storytellers of the present” and that he provided many “astute, relentless observations of our present day”. The Thomas Mann Prize of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts has been awarded every year since 2010 in Lübeck and Munich. Previous winners include Juli Zeh, Rüdiger Safranski, Jenny Erpenbeck, and in 2020 Nora Bossong received the award.