Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann, won the International Booker Prize 2024.

Key highlights:

  • Kairos, is a novel about a romance set in 1980s Berlin, an intimate and devastating story of the path of two lovers through the ruins of a relationship, set against the backdrop of a seismic period in European history.
  • Kairos tells the story of a young woman and an older man in the years leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that marked the end of the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union. Novel poses complex questions about freedom, loyalty, love and power
  • The 50,000-pound prize is split equally between author Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Michael Hofmann, giving each equal recognition.
  • This win marks a significant milestone for Erpenbeck, making her the first German author to claim the International Booker Prize. 
  • Interestingly, Kairos is her fourth novel, and her previous work has garnered recognition as well: “The End of Days” won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (precursor to the International Booker Prize) in 2015, and “Go, Went, Gone” was longlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2018. 
  • Hofmann also won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 1995. In a fascinating twist, he served as a judge for the International Booker Prize in 2018, the same year Erpenbeck’s prior novel was longlisted.

The International Booker Prize

  • Established in 2005 (as the Man Booker International Prize), the International Booker Prize follows in the footsteps of the esteemed Booker Prize, first awarded in 1969. 
  • Both awards celebrate outstanding works of fiction, with the International Booker Prize focusing on long-form fiction translated into English. 
  • A distinguished panel of judges, chaired by artist and author Edmund de Waal in 2024.
  • Panel looks for the best works of long-form fiction by writers of any nationality, written in English.
  • Each year’s panel of judges is chosen with the advice of the Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, and is appointed by the Booker Prize Foundation.

Also Read:

ICC Arrest Warrants Against Netanyahu and Hamas Leaders