Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga was announced the winner of  Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) 2021 today, June 21, 2021.

The Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels is an international peace prize awarded annually by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, an association of German book publishers and book sellers, which runs the Frankfurt Book Fair. The prize worth €25,000, founded in 1950, has been awarded to among others Sebastião Salgado, Margaret Atwood, and Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich.

The Board of Trustees is made up of Klaus Brinkbäumer, Prof. Dr. Peter Dabrock, Prof. Dr. Raphael Gross, Prof. Dr. Moritz Helmstaedter, Dr. Nadja Kneissler, Felicitas von Lovenberg, Prof. Dr. Ethel Matala de Mazza, Prof. Bascha Mika and Karin Schmidt-Friderichs. They have announced the 2021 winner as Tsitsi Dangarembga, the author of the books Nervous Conditions (1988), The Book of Not (2006), and This Mournable Body (2019). She has also produced and directed numerous films.

The statement from the jury said in part;

The German Publishers and Booksellers Association has chosen to award the 2021 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to Tsitsi Dangarembga. Zimbabwean novelist and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga combines inimitable storytelling with a universally compelling perspective in a body of work that has made her not only one of the most important artists in her native land but also a popular and widely-recognised voice of Africa in contemporary literature.

In an interview Tsitsi said of the honour, “the Peace Prize means a great honour to me. I am very impressed that the German book trade has this award, I like that. It shows that the book trade is very aware of the impact that writing and storytelling have on the society and its transformation. It throws a perspective on my country and the world what is worthy of recognition. To receive this prize is very meaningful to me.”

The award ceremony will take place on Sunday, 24 October 2021, in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche and will be broadcast live at 11 a.m. on ZDF.