Friday, October 12, 2007

Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis

If I read German press releases correctly, the German edition of Mom's Cancer, titled Mutter Hat Krebs, has just won the 2007 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Prize) in the non-fiction ("Sachbuch") category.

The prizes, which are the most prestigious awards given for children's and young adult literature in Germany, were announced today at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest literary trade convocation in the world. It draws publishers looking to celebrate books, acquire properties and make deals in nearly every country and language on Earth. This is a big deal!
Quoting from the press release: In dem prämierten Sachbuch Mutter hat Krebs, das von Wolfgang J. Fuchs stilsicher übersetzt wurde, dokumentiert Brian Fies tagebuchartig die Auseinandersetzung mit der Krebserkrankung seiner Mutter: "Entstanden ist ein bewegender Sachcomic, der das Medium angemessen nutzt, und eine sensible Bearbeitung des Themas im zeitgemäßen Format darstellt."
Running that through the reliably hilarous AltaVista Babel Fish translator: In the praemierten special book Nut/Mother has Cancer, which was translated by Wolfgang J. Fuchs, documents Brian Fies diary-like the argument with the cancer illness of its nut/mother: "developed a moving Sachcomic, which uses the medium appropriately, and a sensitive treatment of the topic in the format up-to-date represents."
I especially like the translation of "Nut/Mother." Mom would have found that apt.
I was invited to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair and momentarily considered it, but the time/distance/cost equation was too hard to solve. I honestly thought my odds of winning were very low. Sadly, this continues my woeful pattern of only winning awards I don't show up for. I hate looking ungrateful. Now I'm thinking a fall vacation to Germany might have been very, very nice....

What an honor! This is another one of those moments when I really can't believe how far my story about Mom and my family has come. My thanks to my German publisher Knesebeck and Herr Fuchs, who must have done a bang-up job of translating. I suspect he even improved me in spots. I'm also very grateful to everyone at Abrams Books and my editor Charlie Kochman, who made it all happen.
More later, probably.


R said...

Yay! :D

Sherwood Harrington said...

Way to go to Brian again! Congrats of all we on ft. Harrington!

(The above was graciously provided by BabelFish after a couple of English --> German --> English recursions starting with:

"Way to go again, Brian! Congrats from all of us at Ft. Harrington!")

ronnie said...

LOL... while BabelFish is unparalleled for humour value, if you actually are looking for pretty good automatic translations of foreign reviews, I've found Google Language Tools to be superior.

One of the ways I cross-check things I write in French (or these days, Spanish) is to give them a run through Google language tools back into English. If the paragraph reads right, I usually haven't made any mistakes.

And CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN, Brian! Nothing makes my day like hearing this book, which has become so close to my heart, has won another well-deserved honour.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Brian. Make sure you go to the next Book Fair!
-sandra lundy

Brian Fies said...

Thanks, everybody. Sandra, special thanks for stopping by. Not sure about the next Book Fair, though; Frankfurt is a long way$$$$ away from California.

Mike Lynch said...

The honesty, and the universality, of your work and its message is all a part of this! Congratulations on your win, Brian!

Mike said...

I think you should definitely continue your policy of not showing up for awards. Start by declaring it a "policy" rather than "a series of circumstances." Get a clarinet and arrange to sit in with a jazz band the night of the awards, or send Sacheen Littlefeather to accept if you win. Or let people know you can't attend because you're teaching Sacheen Littlefeather to play the clarinet!

(Meanwhile, congrats, of course!)

Anonymous said...

Let me know where you are next nominated... I will be more than happy to pick your award up FOR you! Of course, you may have to pay a certain "delivery fee" if you ever want to see it!!! ; )

You know Mom would have been loving all this.
Congratulations Again!!!
Nurse Sis

Brian Fies said...

Mike and Mike, thanks. Mike (#2), I think I'm in the early stages of building a reputation as a mysterious recluse. Of course, one of the requirements of becoming a mysterious recluse is you don't talk about being a mysterious recluse. So I already blew it.

Thanks, Sis. I think we've pretty much run out of stuff to be nominated for, but if something comes up that requires a trip to Hawaii or Paris I'll give you a call. And I think about how much Mom would've loved all of this all the time.