Readers will recall the hubbub surrounding the Hotlist of titles compiled by a group of small, independent publishers who wished to call attention to the fact that small, independent publishers were being overlooked when it came to nominations for the German Book Prize.
That hotlist now has produced its own winner, Alexander Schimmelbusch and his novel, Blut im Wasser, published by the wonderfully-named Blumenbar Verlag.
Turns out Schimmelbusch grew up in New York and for five years was an investment banker in London. So it may be assumed that a novel set in New York and Long Island, concerning two friends who have lived lives of great privilege, albeit differently, might call on the author's experience. One of the friends, Pia, knows that she is dying and is desperate to reconnect with Alex, the love of her young years.
The prizewinner was chosen by readers, who cast 10,000 votes, more than a third of which went to Schimmelbusch, along with a purse of 5,000 euros. Taking second place was Uljana Wolf's collection of poems, Falsche Freunde (Kookbooks), and Delfinarium, by Michael Weins (Mairisch Verlag) placed third.