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Tonio Schachinger receives the German Book Prize 2023 for “Echtzeitalter”


Tonio Schachinger has won the German Book Prize for his novel “Echtzeitalter” (“Realtimes”) (Rowohlt Verlag).

Statement from the jury:

“At first glance, Tonio Schachinger’s ‘Echtzeitalter’ is a school story. At second glance, it is much more than that: a social novel that describes its hero Till’s coming-of-age at an elite Viennese boarding school where future key players are prepared for life with reactionary rigour and according to the ideals of the educated bourgeoisie. Till escapes from this repressive environment – embodied by his diabolical teacher Dolinar – into the world of gaming. With subtle irony, Schachinger mirrors the political and social conditions of the present: brute force issues forth from educated pupils. The world of computer games offers a place of fantasy and freedom. In a narratively brilliant and contemporary way, the novel negotiates the question of literature’s place in society.”

The members of the jury for the German Book Prize 2023 are: Shila Behjat (journalist and publicist), Heinz Drügh (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Melanie Mühl (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), Lisa Schumacher (bookshop “Steinmetz’sche Buchhandlung”, Offenbach), jury spokesperson Katharina Teutsch (independent critic), Florian Valerius (bookshop “Gegenlicht Buchhandlung”, Trier) and Matthias Weichelt (Sinn und Form literary journal).

The following novels were also shortlisted for the award:

Terézia Mora: Muna oder Die Hälfte des Lebens (Luchterhand Literaturverlag, August 2023), Necati Öziri: Vatermal (claassen, July 2023), Anne Rabe: Die Möglichkeit von Glück (Klett-Cotta, March 2023), Sylvie Schenk: Maman (Carl Hanser Verlag, February 2023) and Ulrike Sterblich: Drifter (Rowohlt Hundert Augen, July 2023).

With the German Book Prize 2023, the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) honours the best German-language novel of the year. Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main sponsor of the German Book Prize, and Frankfurter Buchmesse and the city of Frankfurt am Main are also partners. The television network Deutsche Welle supports the German Book Prize in its media activities both at home and abroad.

A press photo of Tonio Schachinger will be available for download at approx. 8:30 p.m. at

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 16 October 2023.


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