International Booker Prize Winner 2024

 

 

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

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Michael Hofmann, has been named the winner of the International Booker Prize 2024. The winner was announced by Eleanor Wachtel, Chair of the 2024 judges, at a ceremony sponsored by Maison Valentino and held at London’s Tate Modern on Tuesday, 21 May.

The £50,000 prize is split equally between author Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Michael Hofmann, giving each equal recognition.

Erpenbeck’s novel, which was originally written in German, follows a destructive affair between a young woman and an older man in 1980s East Berlin, with the two lovers seemingly embodying East Germany’s crushed idealism. A meditation on hope and disappointment, Kairos poses complex questions about freedom, loyalty, love and power.

  • ‘It’s a private story of a big love and its decay, but it’s also a story of the dissolution of a whole political system. Simply put: How can something that seems right in the beginning, turn into something wrong?’ – Jenny Erpenbeck on Kairos
  • Kairos follows last year’s International Booker Prize winner, Time Shelter, in being set during and after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe
  • Jenny Erpenbeck, who was longlisted for the prize in 2018, becomes the first German writer to win it. Michael Hofmann becomes the first male translator to win
  • Granta Books wins for the second time since 2016, when the prize took its current form