Leipzig, Germany, March 15 (CTK) – Czech writer Jaroslav Rudis received the 2018 Preis der Literaturhauser, a prestigious German literary prize, in Leipzig on Thursday.
“I thank the organisers for giving the prize also to a Czech writer because it was usually given to authors who primarily write German. I write German as well, however, my main language has always been Czech,” Rudis said.
Rudis, 45, lives alternately in Germany and the Czech Republic. His works include the novels Der Himmel unter Berlin (Nebe pod berlinem, 2002), Grandhotel (Grandhotel, 2006), Die Stille in Prague (Potichu, 2007), Vom Ende des Punks in Helsinki (Konec punku v Helsinkach, 2010) and Nationalstrasse (Narodni trida, 2013) and the comic book trilogy Alois Nebel (2003-05).
The prize is given by literature houses that promote books in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The prize winner receives 15,000 euros.
The jury said Rudis is awarded for his varied works and the ability to work with different kinds of literature. It said his books are “literary rock’n’roll” – “cool, witty, critical, political and poetic.” Society is presented through peculiar figures who often fall victim to tragicomical events, the jury said.
“German belongs to Czech is some way, these two languages are much closer than we think,” Rudis said.
In Leipzig tonight, Rudis plays with the Kafka Band that he set up together with Jaromir Svejdik, the illustrator of Alois Nebel and other comic books, known as Jaromir 99.
In the weeks to come, Rudis will tour the literature houses in the German speaking countries in which he will read from his books.
“I am glad I have readers in Germany and Austria. I think Czech literature or Czech culture need to get out of the country,” he said.