Iris Hanika is awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2021 for her novel Echoes Chambers.
The jury’s statement:
»Iris Hanika proves to be a clever, witty and wild narrator. As one of the most headstrong voices in contemporary German literature, who can look at social conditions with a brutally clear and unabashed view. And then again incredibly funny.«
In Echoes Chambers, Iris Hanika impressively demonstrates her skills as artful, ingenious storyteller. We are travelling to New York to accompany the poet Sophonisbe. She follows an invitation to come to the »City of Dreams« for ten weeks before returning to Berlin, where Roxana, the novel’s second protagonist and a successful writer of self-help books, takes over.
The two women get caught up in various incidents, excesses and digressions, including with a young bourgeois who gives the story another sharp twist. Nevertheless, this book does not just speak of mature delusional love – it is also about Echo and Narcissus. The intricately woven episodes are brimming with a boisterous thirst for knowledge, a good dose of life’s reality and merciless criticism of capitalism.
Echoes Chambers, a travel as well as a romance novel, but also an action novel and self-help book, provides for great literary joy.
»The author brings together what has lost its hold in reality. In Echoes chambers, New York and Berlin form a space for reflection that sparkles with wit and intellectual willfulness. « (From the jury’s statement)
»A novel that is so fantastic that you wish it all readers, and above all readers of the world.« (Bettina Hartz, FAS)
» A multi-layered and artistically mirrored artifact that comes along light-footed, plays ironically with its own knowledge of the world and life and radiates a very contemporary, hopeless serenity.« (Sigrid Löffler, Radio Bremen)
»Quite argumentative, often funny and entertaining from start to finish.« (René Hamann, taz)
»Iris Hanika’s novel is challenging, unusual, eloquent, political, entertaining and now at the top of the best lists.« (Irene Prugger, Wiener Zeitung)
» Iris Hanika has written a literary capriccio on a graceful subject, with a lot of knowledge in the background, as a conversation piece that can be discussed excellently in the salons of the big cities.« (Rose-Maria Gropp, FAZ)
»Literary finesse and easy reading at the same time – this art novel is an immensely funny romance novel and a city novel rolled into one.« (Joachim Scholl, Deutschlandfunk Lesart)
»Many people have written about New York but rarely have modern city life and myth got entangled as beautifully as in Iris Hanika’s new novel Echoes Chambers.« (Stefan Kister, Stuttgarter Zeitung)
»Written with incredible ironic finesse and effortlessness.« (Michael Braun, Deutschlandradio)
»Echoes Chambers is a partly extremely funny novel about language, literature, delusional love and life.« (Sophie Weigand, Buchkultur)
»Greatly entertaining. And as a matter of fact a really unprecedented book.« (Jan Ehlert, NDR Kultur)
»The new novel by Iris Hanika cannot be read without feeling dizzy. Delightful.« (Barbara Weitzel, Welt am Sonntag)