TdT_Bodo Kirchhoff_18102016

Top book prize announced

Bodo Kirchhoff won the German Book Prize for his novel "Widerfahrnis".

Frankfurt (dpa) - Writer Bodo Kirchhoff won the annual German Book Prize for his novel "Widerfahrnis," a love story that touches on Europe's refugee crisis, the German trade association representing publishers and bookstores said on Monday.

The award, worth 25,000 euros (27,500 dollars), recognizes the best new work of literature in the German-speaking world for the year.

It is traditionally awarded on the evening before the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

German author Kirchhoff's book describes the journey of a retired publisher and the former owner of a hat store, who take a spontaneous trip together to the south of Italy, where they are confronted with the refugee crisis.

The book - translated as "Encounter" - is "a complex text, which interweaves existential private and political questions together in a masterly way," the seven-person jury said.

Last year, a book from Frank Witzel illustrating life in the former West Germany through the eyes of a 13-year-old won the prize.