Slovenian novel tops German literary critics’ list

Stuttgart – Slovenian writer Aleš Šteger’s novel Neverend has made it to the top of the June list of books recommended by SWR, a regional TV channel targeting the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The list is compiled based on ratings by 30 acclaimed German literary critics.

Neverend (117 points) is followed by Ukrainian-German author Ilya Kaminsky’s collection of poems Deaf Republic and by US author Fran Lebowitz’s New York and the Rest of the World (45 points).

Literary critics are asked to choose four books that they would like to have as many readers as possible and rate them with 15, 10, 6 or 3 points.

SWR editors then add all the points to get the final scores and compile a list for every month.

Eligible to get on the list are books written in German or translated into German and published in the month when the list is compiled.

Neverend is a poetic but socially charged novel bringing a story about a young writer who finds herself in a personal crisis in difficult times in society.

When it was published in 2017, Slovenian publisher Beletrina said the novel was about what could happen had it not happened already today.

Šteger, 49, is a prolific poet, writer and editor who has initiated a number of literary and cultural events.

He is one of the most internationally acclaimed Slovenian writers, with more than 60 of his books having been translated into more than 20 languages.

He has received a number of awards at home and abroad, including in 2016 the Horst Bienek Prize, which the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts gives out for the oeuvre of poetry, and he became a full member of the German Academy for Language and Literature in 2017.