The Slovenia Times

Slovenian author wins ITB 2023 travel book award

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Slovenian author Aleš Šteger.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
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Slovenian author Aleš Šteger has received one of the ITB 2023 awards for his book Gebrauchsanweisung fur Slowenien (User Manual for Slovenia), a special travel guide for German-speaking foreigners visiting his country. The book, which won in the category 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour, is part of a popular German travel book series.

The book was published last year by Germany's Piper under the Gebrauchsanweisung series, one of the most popular and well-established book series bringing tips for travellers from the German-language area. The series has been around for more than 40 years, Šteger has told the STA, and this is the first time it features a book about Slovenia.

What the books in the series have in common is a zero-photo essay-like genre that provides a deeper understanding of the country's culture, traditions, everyday life and the general vibe. They are mostly written by writers or journalists who have spent a long time in a foreign country and have a well-honed perspective of it. This was not the case in his book as Šteger was born and bred in Slovenia and lives there as well.

He had decided to write the book in German to make it easier for him to see his home country through the lens of a foreigner, someone who does not take anything for granted.

The 49-year-old writer is hopeful that the book will soon be translated into English or another language. Matthias Goritz, a literary translator from Slovenian into German with whom he has been collaborating, helped him out by polishing the manuscript.

Considered the world's leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin gives out annual book awards to honour travel works written in German or translated into German. Two more books have won awards in the category 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour.

Slovenia will be this year's guest of honour at the world's largest book trade fair in October.

This year's ITB Berlin will be held between 7 and 9 March.


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