German Non-Fiction Prize 2024: the nominees have been selected

As the official English-language media partner for the German Non-fiction Prize 2024, we are delighted to provide an overview of all shortlisted books.

The jury for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2024 has shortlisted eight titles for the award. Since the call for submissions went out, the seven members of the jury have reviewed 225 books published since April 2023 and submitted by 115 publishers. 

Jury spokesperson Stefan Koldehoff, Deutschlandfunk, released the following statement: 

“When is a non-fiction book relevant? When does it broaden its readers’ horizons and open their eyes? When does it perhaps even manage to provide answers – both to the pressing questions of the present as well as to the timeless ones? These questions guided us as a jury in our selection of the nominees. Carefully researching the facts is one prerequisite. The other is an original idea that aspires to be understood by anyone who grapples with urgent and timeless questions: How can knowledge of the past help us to understand and shape the present? What systemic deficits prevent problems from being seriously addressed? Why do some myths persist so stubbornly? And is the threat to democracy also tied to an increasingly vulnerable society? Beyond all the many possible topics, what a good non-fiction book always needs is a connection to the present. Then it is relevant.” 

German Non-Fiction Prize 2024 : the shortlist

The nominated titles are listed below in alphabetical order. Clicking the book cover will take you to the book’s page on the publisher’s website. At the end of the list, you can download a PDF of all titles, including jury comments and an author biography for each book.

Jens Beckert, Selling the Future. Why the Fight Against Climate Change Is in Danger of Failing // Verkaufte Zukunft. Warum der Kampf gegen den Klimawandel zu scheitern droht (Suhrkamp, March 2024) 

Click here for an English sample translation by Ray Cunningham.

Sebastian Conrad, The Queen. Nefertiti’s Global Career // Die Königin. Nofretetes globale Karriere (Propyläen, February 2024) 

Click here for an overview of the book in English, prepared by the author. The whole text has been translated into English and is ready to be sent out.

Ruth Hoffmann, The German Alibi. The “Stauffenberg Assassination” Myth: How 20 July 1944 is Glorified and Politically Instrumentalised // Das deutsche Alibi. Mythos „Stauffenberg-Attentat“ – wie der 20. Juli 1944 verklärt und politisch instrumentalisiert wird (Goldmann, April 2024) 

Click here for an English language sample translation by Gesche Ipsen.

Roman Köster, Rubbish. A Dirty History of Humanity // Müll. Eine schmutzige Geschichte der Menschheit (C.H.Beck, October 2023) 

Click here for an English version of the book proposal.

Christina Morina, A Thousand New Beginnings. Germans and Their Democracy Since the 1980s // Tausend Aufbrüche. Die Deutschen und ihre Demokratie seit den 1980er Jahren (Siedler, September 2023) 

Please click here for a sample translation by Elizabeth Janik.

Frauke Rostalski, Vulnerable Society. The New Vulnerability as a Challenge to Freedom // Die vulnerable Gesellschaft. Die neue Verletzlichkeit als Herausforderung der Freiheit (C.H.Beck, March 2024) 

Click here for an English version of the book proposal.

Marcus Willaschek, Kant. The Revolution of Thought // Kant. Die Revolution des Denkens (C.H.Beck, August 2023) 

Click here for an English version of the book proposal.

Moshe Zimmermann, Peace Never? Israel at the Crossroads // Niemals Frieden? Israel am Scheideweg (Propyläen, February 2024) 

Click here for an English language sample by Jamie Bulloch.

For the jury’s comments on each book, and a biography of the author, please click here.

In addition to Stefan Koldehoff, the members of the jury are: Sibylle Anderl (DIE ZEIT), Julika Griem (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities [KWI] Essen), Michael Hagner (ETH Zurich), Michael Lemling (“Buchhandlung Lehmkuhl” bookshop), Patricia Rahemipour (Institute for Museum Research, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and Katrin Vohland (Natural History Museum Vienna). 
 

This year, for the fourth time, the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) will award this prize, worth a total of 42,500 euros, to the original German-language edition of an outstanding non-fiction book that inspires social debate. 

From the eight shortlisted titles, the jury will select the best non-fiction book of the year, which will be announced in Hamburg on 11 June 2024. The winner will receive 25,000 euros, the seven nominees 2,500 euros each. The awards ceremony will be held in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. 

The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main supporter of the prize, which is also backed by the city of Hamburg and Frankfurter Buchmesse. Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth is patron of the prize. 

Get to know the nominees: conversations, films and blogger reviews 

Together with its partners, the German Non-Fiction Prize offers its nominees a platform. Reading enthusiasts and book lovers can get to know the nominated titles and their authors through conversations, discussion panels and films, and in bookshops. More information about these events is available at www.deutscher-sachbuchpreis.de/en/events