Michael Krüger to receive The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award 2013

LONDON, 8 MARCH —The London Book Fair is pleased to announce that the tenth annual Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing, will be awarded to Michael Krüger, CEO of Hanser Verlag.

Michael, who began working at Hanser in 1968, is credited with making the publishing house one of the most important literary groups in Germany.

Hanser has published an impressive 16 literary Nobel Prize winners. Of these, Michael is the editor of Milosz, Eugenio Montale, Brodsky, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Elias Canetti, Thomas Tranströmer and Herta Müller. Michael’s impeccable list of award-winning English language writers (both fiction and non-fiction) includes Barack Obama, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Michael Ondaatje, Lisa Moore, Nik Cohn, Michael Frayn, Colm Toíbín, Edmund de Waal, Philipp Blom and Robert Harrison.

Under Michael’s direction, Hanser Verlag has also translated many influential international writers, including Patrick Modiano, Le Clezio, Marie Darrieussecq, Umberto Eco, Alessandro Baricco, Antonio Tabucchi, Claudio Magris, Per Olov Enquist, Jostein Gaarder, Milan Kundera, Orhan Pamuk and Yiyun Li.

An author and poet himself, Michael also edits the literary magazine Edition Akzente.

Michael has been awarded the Big Literary Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (2004), the Officier des Arts et des Lettres (2005) and the Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblicca Italiana (2008). He has also been awarded the Kythera Prize for his cultural mediation between Germany and the Romanic speaking countries.

Michael Krüger said: “It is a special honour for me to be awarded this prestigious prize because my work with books began in London in the early sixties; and now after fifty years in publishing, the circle is ending here in London among my friends.”

Roberto Calasso said: “The relationship between authors and their books is a strange one. Sometimes they are two entities that coincide, but often they diverge or even clash, grating. If the good publisher must be an exclusive specialist in something, it will be those strange relationships. And most of his or her knowledge will be destined to remain secret or part of an oral tradition. Of that knowledge, extremely precious for the very lifeblood of literature, Michael is a magnificent example.”

David Roche, Non-Executive Chair, The London Book Fair, said: “Michael Krüger is a stalwart of the publishing industry. Under his dedication and leadership Hanser has grown in stature whilst retaining and refining its impeccable literary reputation. Michael is internationally acclaimed as a talented and innovative publisher whose fine business acumen has driven Hanser from strength to strength – his passion for literature is unquestionable and his taste indisputable. We are delighted to be awarding to him The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013.”

The London Book Fair’s Advisory Board, comprising senior figures in the international publishing industry, voted on Michael Krüger after debating the merits of a shortlist of international publishing figures.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has made a truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing. It is open to publishers, agents, editors, scouts and anyone else involved in international publishing from any country in the world. The award has previously been presented to Sonny Mehta of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Lord Weidenfield, Weidenfield and Nicolson, Christopher MacLehose, now of MacLehose Press, John Lyon of Little, Brown (posthumously), Lynette Owen of Pearson Education, Peter Mayer of The Overlook Press/ Duckworth Publishers, Drenka Willen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard, and last year Jorge Herralde of Editorial Anagrama.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

For further information about The London Book Fair 2013, please contact: Nicola Green at Midas Public Relations on 0207 361 7860 or nicola.green@midaspr.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

About The London Book Fair (LBF)
The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. The London Book Fair brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. The London Book Fair 2013, the 42nd Fair, will take place from 15-17 April 2013, Earls Court, London. Turkey is Market Focus country in 2013, following China in 2012. For further information, please visit: www.londonbookfair.co.uk.

Roberto Calasso’s Quote
“There are publishers with whom you can talk only about books recently bought from someone, generally on the basis of a name, a title, or a meagre synopsis; there are publishers with whom you can talk only about the books they themselves have published or are about to publish or would like to publish; then there are publishers, real rarities, with whom you can talk about any book, old or new, real or imaginary – and about any other subject, which might have little to do with books. Michael Krüger belongs to this last type, not only rare but perhaps close to extinction. It’s a feeling I had since we met, a long time ago by now, at the long table around which Christoph Schlotterer used to invite a dozen friends in Frankfurt, invariably presided over by Roger Straus, for a dinner that was the incunabulum of today’s far more crowded “Hanser dinners” held on Thursdays during the Book Fair.

In the meantime a lot of water has gone under the bridge and I certainly could not reconstruct the list of the countless things I happened to talk about with Michael. But I remember well that, if the talk got round to writers, it was always about someone whom we both felt was very dear to us, be it Canetti or Sebald, Chatwin or Brodsky, Kundera or Kiś. And in any case, in a wholly natural way, our talk about books would blend in with talk about the people who had written them. In fact, the relationship between authors and their books is a strange one. Sometimes they are two entities that coincide, but often they diverge or even clash, grating. If the good publisher must be an exclusive specialist in something, it will be those strange relationships. And most of his or her knowledge will be destined to remain secret or part of an oral tradition. Of that knowledge, extremely precious for the very lifeblood of literature, Michael is a magnificent example.”

THE LONDON BOOK FAIR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING

The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing celebrates an individual’s career dedication to breaking down borders in international publishing. Anyone involved in international publishing, from any country in the world, can be nominated.

The award is judged by The London Book Fair Advisory Board, made up of senior figures in the international publishing industry, under the inaugural chairmanship of David Roche, Non-Executive Chair, The London Book Fair.

PREVIOUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS:

2012 – Jorge Herralde, Editions Anagrama
2011 – Sonny Mehta, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
2010 – Antoine Gallimard, Éditions Gallimard
2009 – Drenka Willen, Harcourt, USA (presented by Umberto Eco, Author) 2008 – Peter Meyer, Overlook Press and Duckworth, UK & USA (presented by Ed Victor, Literary Agent)
2007 – Lord Weidenfeld, Weidefeld & Nicolson, UK (presented by Simon Master, Non Executive Chair, The London Book Fair)
2006 – Christopher MacLehose, UK (presented by Liz Calder, Bloomsbury Plc)
2005 – Lynette Owen, Pearson Education, UK
2004 – John Lyons, Little, Brown, UK & USA (presented posthumously)

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