Following the award of this year’s Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to the German-Iranian writer Navid Kermani, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (18 June):
The award of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade to Navid Kermani honours a critical thinker and thought-provoking academic, journalist and author, whose untiring penmanship serves the goal of a more cosmopolitan Germany, and whose own life is an example of the cosmopolitan attitudes he propounds. In both his academic and literary work, Navid Kermani explores liminal experiences and traumas, without ever losing his belief in the ideal of a free, open society.
His biography and writings show how important and rewarding it is to be able to shift perspectives between two cultures. By simultaneously looking from within and without, by examining Germany, and from Germany the world, Navid Kermani has made an indispensable contribution to nurturing understanding of other cultures and to changing the way in which we regard ourselves.