Hanna Krall was presented with the Würth-Preis literary award in Stuttgart. The writer was chosen in recognition of her merits in the "field of a literary search for the traces of a bygone yet still present world of Jews in Poland"
Hanna Krall was officially announced laureate of the award on the 19th of July, 2011. She was presented with the title and a prize of 25 000 euros on the 9th of February, 2012 in Stuttgart. The Polish journalist and writer was chosen in recognition of her merits in the "field of a literary search for the traces of a bygone yet still present world of Jews in Poland".
Krall’s works form a significant testimony to the historic experiences of Eastern Europe. The main themes of her books revolve around the intertwining of human fates. She specialises in describing the everyday lives and situations of seemingly ordinary people, and employing the style of reportage to emphasise the mingling of truth and fiction. The stories mostly concern the search for identity and the complexity of Polish-Jewish-German relations during the Second World War and the years immediately following the war, including pogroms and mass expulsions of Jews in1968, often with a deeper background in the history of a given family or locality.
Her best-known book, Shielding the Flame, came out in 1977. It is an interview with Marek Edelman, a physician and the last living leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. She applies the technique of a double time-frame, enriched by the interweaving of fictitious and authentic narratives. She used the same technique in two novels, the semi-autobiographical The Subtenant (1982) and Windows (1985). Shielding the Flame introduced Jewish subjects to her writing; this continued in The Subtenant and in two reportages, Hypnosis and Dancing at Someone Else's Wedding, which were published as books after first appearing in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
The Würth-Preis is awarded every two years since 1997 by the Reinhold Würth company in order to honour writings which explore the cultural diveristy of the Old Continent. Previous laureates of the prize include Claudio Magris, Harald Hartung, Herta Müller and Ilya Troyanov.