Dinçer Güçyeter wins Prize of Leipzig Book Fair 2023!

Dinçer Güçyeter works part-time as a forklift truck driver, has published two volumes of poetry, won the 2022 Peter Huchel Prize and this year’s Prize of Leipzig Book Fair for his queer text THE PROMISE (mikrotext), telling the untold story of women who have been overlooked, unheard, un-addressed for the longest time now.

„Traditionally as well as innovatively queerly told, this immigrant story sweeps you along with its emotionality and great political significance from the very beginning. The novel looks at German and European conditions, lets the words fly to the sky, but at the same time does not spare the humiliations on the ground. Dinçer Güçyeter captures stories with a net more finely woven than a butterfly’s landing net, is able to transform painful moments into comic ones, and with THE PROMISE has given us a polyphonic novel whose poetic chorus will continue to resound.“ – the jury

  • winner of the 2023 Leipzig Book Fair Prize
  • Book of the Month 2023 of Darmstädter Jury e.V.
  • winner of the the 2022 Peter Huchel Prize
  • Dinçer Güçyeter is a publisher himself of renowned ELIF Verlag for poetry
  • selected and recommended by New Books in German
  • 216 pages
  • more than 15.000 copies sold by his mircro press publisher

THE PROMISE is Dinçer Güçyeter’s first novel: a candid and convincing family saga told in the voices of three generations from the early twentieth century to the present, set in Turkey and Germany.
The story is told by three characters: Dinçer, his mother Fatma and his grandmother Hanife. It begins in Anatolia, with a stark example of the status of women at that time: it is the duty of every man to provide a homeless woman with shelter. A cartload of women whose husbands have been killed in the war is deposited in the village square. That same night Hanife is conceived by her mother Ayşe, a refugee from Greece, and the man who takes her in, Ömer Bey.
Ömer’s other wives treat Ayşe like a slave, and when Hanife marries, she receives similar treatment from own husband, Osman. When Osman is killed, Hanife escapes to the city with her three children. A suitor, Yilmaz, asks to marry Fatma: reluctantly, Hanife agrees and Fatma travels with Yilmaz to Germany. She works in a factory making carburettors for Mercedes. Yilmaz runs a bar, which turns into a kind of clubhouse for his friends. However, it loses money, and Hanife takes on extra work in an attempt to pay Yilmaz’s debts.
After thirteen years of marriage, Dinçer is born. Fatma adores him, but their financial circumstances become more extreme. Even though he is a child, Dinçer tries to earn money to help. Eventually Fatma is injured in an industrial accident and has to give up work in the factory.

„A story of arriving against all odds? A skeptical stocktaking? A declaration of love perhaps, an angry reckoning, or a sentimental family story? Dinçer Güçyeter pulls the rug out from under all expectations and presents a novel that is unusual in every respect.“ Julia Schröder, Deutschlandfunk / Büchermarkt

„A book that hits you like a lightning strike and leaves you with a different view of the world. A definite reading recommendation.“ Denis Scheck, SWR Lesenswert

„The book is certainly one of those that will keep us busy for longer than just one season.“ Jörg Schieke, MDR Kultur

„This author fell from the sky, and so did this novel.“ Hubert Winkels, 3sat/Kulturzeit

„The compelling power and beauty of his poetic work is measured out to the ethos of craftsmanship: the skill of ‚working and adapting raw material with the right tools.‘ On the one hand, the aesthetic experience of matching form to content; on the other, the existential process of giving a life story the dignity and meaning it deserves. In the middle of it all are the poet and his mother.“ Stefan Kister, Stuttgarter Zeitung

„The first generation of people who came to Germany as so-called guest workers has recently been increasingly the subject of contemporary literature. But stylistically as multifaceted as the writer and publisher Dinçer Güçyeter, born in 1979 in Nettetal, takes on the story of his parents, one is unlikely to have read this aspect of the history of the Federal Republic before.“ SWR Bestenliste

„Apart from its literary quality, ,Unser Deutschlandmärchen‘ is also a tribute to the many people who have come to Germany from Turkey since 1961, carrying in their luggage little more than the hope of earning enough money to return home in a few years as made people.“ Daniela Abels, Kölnische Rundschau

„A sometimes quiet, gentle, vulnerable book, but often an equally angry, wounded, rebellious book. Above all, however, it is a virtuously composed work of linguistic art that one cannot escape.“ Gerrit Wustmann, Qantara

„Shimmering, idiosyncratic debut novel.“ Insa Wilke, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Dinçer Güçyeter was born in 1979 in Nettetal and is a German theatre maker, poet, editor, and publisher. Güçyeter grew up as the son of a pub owner and a ma­nual worker, and gained his secondary school certifi­cate at evening classes. From 1996 to 2000 he trained as a tool mechanic, and subsequently worked as a re­staurateur. In 2012, he founded the ELIF Verlag publis­hing house, which focuses on poetry. Güçyeter continu­es to fund his publishing venture by working part-time as a forklift driver. Aus Glut geschnitzt was published in 2017 and Mein Prinz, ich bin das Ghetto in 2021. In 2022, Güçyeter was awarded the Peter Huchel Prize. He has two children and lives in Nettetal.