Lettre Ulysses Award for the art of reportage

First Press Release 2006 (English)

Berlin, 30th May 2006

(Click here for versions in German, Spanish, and French.)

Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage 2006
New jury agrees upon nominations for the longlist

On May 27th-28th the jury of the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage decided upon the 2006 nominations.

The Lettre Ulysses Award was recently the focus of media attention when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the 2004 winners Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao (for A Survey of Chinese Peasants) during her visit to China and discussed the work of journalists in China and the situation of Chinese peasants with them.

The 2006 nominations include nineteen texts from Austria, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA.

The members of the polyglot jury are:

* Gamal al Ghitany (Egypt): Novelist, Essayist, Journalist
* Andrei Bitov (Russia): Writer
* Urvashi Butalia (India): Writer, Reporter, Essayist, Historian
* Nedim Gürsel (Turkey): Novelist, Essayist, Travel Writer
* Isabel Hilton (Great Britain): Reporter, Writer, Radio Broadcaster
* Anne Nivat (France): Reporter, Writer
* Sergio Ramírez (Nicaragua): Writer, Journalist
* Pedro Rosa Mendes (Portugal): Reporter, Writer
* Ilija Trojanow (Germany): Writer, Reporter
* Yang Lian (China): Poet, Essayist, Critic

The nominations for the longlist are, in alphabetical order (author, country of origin, title, publisher, first place and date of publication, title in translation):

* Karl-Markus Gauss, Austria: Die Hundeesser von Svinia, Paul Zsolnay Verlag, Vienna, 2005 [The Dog Eaters of Svinia]
* Linda Grant, Great Britain: The People on the Street. A Writer’s View of Israel, Virago Press, London, 2006
* Jeanette Erazo Heufelder, Germany: Der Smaragdkönig. Victor Carranza und das grüne Gold der Anden, Piper Malik, Munich, 2005 [The Emerald Czar. Victor Carranza and the Green Gold of the Andes]
* Igor Klekh, Russia: The Deurbanization of Lvov (Gorodskaya Zebra Magazine, Moskow, May 2004) & A Week in Kishinev (GEO Magazine, Moskow, July 2004), part of a series of texts on the decline of post-Soviet cities.
* Juanita Léon, Colombia: País de plomo. Crónicas de guerra, Aguilar, 2005 [Country of Bullets. War Diaries]
* Li Datong, China: The Story of “Freezing Point”, Guangxi Normal University Press, 2005
* Taís Morais & Eumano Silva, Brazil: Operação Araguaia: os arquivos secretos da Guerrilha, Geração Editorial, São Paulo, 2005 [Operation Araguaia. The Secret Archives of a Guerrilla War]
* Erik Orsenna, France: Voyage aux pays du coton. Petit précis de mondialisation, Fayard, Paris, 2006 [Journey to the Lands of Cotton. A Brief Manual of Globalisation]
* Georg Packer, USA: The Assassins’ Gate. America in Iraq, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 2005 (in the UK Faber & Faber, London, 2006)
* Youssef Rakha, Egypt: Beirut shi mahal: an Egyptian in Lebanon, Amkenah Magazine, Cairo, 2005
* Mishi Saran, India: Chasing the Monk’s Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang, Penguin India, New Delhi, 2005
* Samuel Shimon, Iraq: An Iraqi in Paris, Banipal Books, London, 2005
* Ece Temelkuran, Turkey: We are Making a  Revolution Here, Signorita, Everest Yay., Istanbul, 2006
* Manjushree Thapa, Nepal: Forget Kathmandu: An Elegy for Democracy, Penguin Viking India, New Delhi, 2005
* Yaroslav Trofimov, Ukraine: Faith at War. A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu, Henry Holt, New York, 2005
* Sun Shuyun, China: The Long March, HarperPress, London, 2006
* Peter Vail, Russia: Genius loci, Colibri Publishers, Moskow, 2006
* Diana Washington Valdez, Mexico: Cosecha de mujeres. Safari en el desierto mexicano [Harvest of Woman. Safari in the Mexican Desert], Oceano, Mexico/Barcelona, 2005
* Zhou Qing, China: ‘What Kind of God’.  A Survey of the Current Safety of China’s Food, Reportage Literature, 09/2004

The World Prize for Journalism at its Best
The Lettre Ulysses Award is the only world prize for the genre of literary reportage. The award was initiated by the cultural journal Lettre International in association with the Aventis Foundation, and in partnership with the Goethe-Institut. The prize has a total endowment of 100,000 Dollars. In addition to the monetary prizes, four working grants for visits to Berlin are funded by the Goethe-Institut. The award is the only international literary prize that is based in the German capital. The intended aim of the award is to encourage the genre of literary reportage, to draw public attention to its extraordinary achievements, and to provide the reporters with financial, moral and symbolic support. The prize is awarded annually and has gained a worldwide reputation over the past three years.

Outlook 2006
The winners will be announced on 30th September during an award ceremony at Berlin’s TIPI venue, in the presence of the jurors, finalists, and 500 guests from the worlds of literature, politics, media and business.

Previous Winners
* 2003, Russia’s Anna Politkovskaya for Tchétchénie, le déshonneur russe.
* 2004, China’s Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao for A Survey of Chinese Peasants.
* 2005, Great Britain’s Alexandra Fuller for Scribbling the Cat. Travels with an African Soldier.

The Jury: polyglot, professional, independent
Each year the prominent members of the jury attempt to track down the best works of literary reportage published throughout the world. The jury consists exclusively of writers who are familiar with the genre of literary reportage and this year its members represent, as native speakers, ten of the largest linguistic areas in the world. The working language of the jury is English. Nominated texts must have been published for the first time no earlier than January 1st 2004, and all languages are eligible. A staggered process of nomination, assessment, discussion and decision-making guarantees a competent evaluation of the texts. The composition of the jury varies annually.

International Advisory Committee
An Advisory Committee supports the Lettre Ulysses Award. Members of the committee include the Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievitch, the German writer Günter Grass, the Polish reportage author Ryszard Kapuscinski and the French ethnologist Jean Malaurie.

Further Information
Information about the award winners, the nominated texts, media coverage, project concept, jury and working procedures can be found at www.lettre-ulysses-award.org. For further background information please contact us directly.

Foundation Lettre International Award
Frank Berberich, Esther Gallodoro
Elisabethhof Portal 3 b, Erkelenzdamm 59/61, D - 10999 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0) 30 - 30 87 04 – 52/ -61, Fax: +49 (0) 30 - 283 31 28, Email: lettre@lettre.de

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"In Japan, the biggest problem is people’s lack of concern about international matters. For ordinary Japanese people, the world is made up of our country and the United States. If you want to report, there’s not much audience to listen to it. And in Japan, there are very, very few independent journalists; almost all of the journalists belong to big media."Natsuki Ikezawa (jury member 2003 & 2004)