Since 2015, the Allianz Kulturstiftung has been working with the Klett-Cotta Verlag to promote the Jean Améry Prize across Europe every two years. A newly appointed international jury headed by Robert Menasse and composed of prominent authors, literary scholars and critics signals the prize's pan-European spirit.
The Jean Améry Prize is awarded in memory of Jean Améry for outstanding achievement in the field of critically aware literary essay writing. Améry's widow Maria initiated the prize with the Klett-Cotta Verlag in 1982, and it had been conferred on four authors by 1991. After Maria Améry's death, the writer Robert Menasse used his prize money from the Austrian State Prize to revive the Jean Améry Prize in 2000.
In addition to being the only prize for literary essay writing in Europe, the Jean Améry Prize is with an endowment of 15,000 EUR the highest endowed award of its kind in the world.
Berlin, March 2016
On 2 March 2016, the Jean Améry Prize was given to the Polish poet and essayist Adam Zagajewski at an award ceremony in Berlin. Hungarian literary scholar and jury member László Földényi delivered laudatory remarks. Also on the the 2016 jury were: Gila Lustiger (Paris), Michael Krüger (Munich), Claudio Magris (Trieste), Christina Weiss (former German Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Berlin), Robert Menasse (Vienna).
Earlier awardees were: