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Literature

Writer Sibylle Lewitscharoff wins Germany's Büchner Prize

The author Sibylle Lewitscharoff has won Germany's renowned Georg Büchner Prize. The Berlin-based writer was credited with helping to reinvent prose and redefining the boundaries of reality.

The prize was awarded to Lewitscharoff on Saturday by the German Academy For Language and Literature.

Explaining its reasoning, the academy hailed the 59-year-old writer's "keen sense of observation, narrative imagination and linguistic inventiveness." It credited her with redefining and calling into question the limits of reality.

Lewitscharoff said she was delighted with the prize. "I've already been spoilt, winning several prizes, but the Büchner Prize is the best."

The Büchner Prize,which carries with it 50,000 euros ($70,000) in prize money, is - along with the Göethe Prize - regarded as the most important literary prize in Germany.

Born in Stuttgart, Lewitscharoff published her first book, "36 Gerechte" (36 Righteous People) in 1994. She came to prominence in 1998 with the novel "Pong," which had an insane central character, determined to change the world at its heart.

Multiple prize winner

Other works include "Consummatus" in 2006, "Apostollof" in 2009 and "Blumenberg" (Flower Mountain) in 2011. Most recently came a collection of poetry lectures the writer gave in 2012, titled "Vom Guten, Wahren und Schönen" (From the Good, the True and the Beautiful).

Lewitscharoff, who also works as an artist and graphic designer, has received numerous literary prizes. This summer she assumed the University of Kassel's Brothers Grimm Professorship.

The Büchner Prize is named after the dramatist Georg Büchner and is now awarded to authors "writing in the German language who have notably emerged through their oeuvre as essential contributors to the shaping of contemporary German cultural life."

The prize was first awarded in 1923, but only became a general literary prize in 1951. Until then it had been limited to a wider range of people - visual artists, poets, actor and singers - but only those who came from the German state of Hesse.

Previous winners have included Günther Grass, Heinrich Böll, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse.

rc/mkg (dpa, EPD)