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Books Beyond Borders © © Goethe-Institut © Goethe-Institut

About Us - Online Portal and Translation Programme
Special-focus language 2022 - 2024: Italian presents new publications from the German book market which are selected by a jury of critics on a regular basis. Information on these books is provided on our portal in the form of
• book reviews by well-known literary critics,
• sample passages
• details on authors and publishers
in German, English and the current special-focus language.
Our goal is to provide an opportunity for interested readers, publishers and translators abroad to gain a direct, unmediated impression of the state of contemporary German literature.
What makes unique is its Translation Grant Programme, which focuses on a single language for several years at a time. 

Previous special-focus languages:

2019 - 2021 Greek
2015 - 2018: Arabic
2012 - 2014: Russian
2009 - 2011: Spanish (Argentina)
2007 - 2008: Portuguese (Brazil)
2005 - 2006: Chinese
2004 - 2005: Arabic

2022 - 2024, Italian is our special-focus language.

We are accordingly presenting all our books in Italian as well as in German and English, and we offer targeted financial support for translations into Italian. Information about eligibility criteria can be found here.

The team

Dr. Anne-Bitt Gerecke

After gaining a doctorate in Modern German Literature Anne-Bitt Gerecke was charged by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation) with devising and developing the translation support programme Based in the Goethe-Institut’s Berlin office, she has been responsible for the Litrix programme since 2007. She is Acting Head of the Goethe-Institut’s ‘Literature and Translation Support’ section.

Anne-Bitt Gerecke © Andreas Teich / Goethe-Institut

Despina Kobothanassi

Despina Kobothanassi studied German as a Foreign Language and Computer Linguistics at the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, and the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. She has worked at the Goethe-Institut’s headquarters in Munich since 2000, where she has been responsible since 2004 for the content management system and the multilingual web-presence of the literature portal.

Platzhalter Litrix Logo @ Goethe-Institut

Anna Krischer

Anna Krischer studied Arts Management at the University for Arts and Culture in St Petersburg and has worked at the Goethe-Institut since 1998, first in St Petersburg and subsequently at the Institute’s headquarters in Munich, where her responsibilities include financial management and preparations for sittings of the Litrix jury.

Anna Krischer © Loredana La Rocca

Beate Neumann

Beate Neumann is a qualified bookseller and librarian, and has worked at the Milan Goethe Institute since 1989. Her responsibilties include running the library and organising events supporting the German-Italian Literary Exchange programme. She is the local contact person for the Goethe Institute’s long-standing Translation Support scheme[es ist nicht unbedingt klar, was im Original mit ‘klassisch’ gemeint ist; Englisch ‘classic’ kommt hier jedenfalls nicht in Frage!]. Since 2021 she has served as the area co-ordinator for’s programme ‘Special-focus Language: Italian’.

Beate Neumann © Beate Neumann

Antonella Perin

Antonella Perin studied architecture at the Sapienza University in Rome. Since 2017 she has been in charge of the cultural programs of the Goethe-Institut at the country institute in Rome. In the context of's "Italian focus" she is responsible for contacts with Italian institutions and universities, for Litrix initiatives in Rome and for coordinating presentations and events in Italy.

Antonella Perin © Luciana Paris

The Jury Process

Books featured on are selected by a panel of independent experts consisting of three well-known literary critics and two experts from the relevant special-focus language area familiar both with literature and with the practical realities of publishing. Each year, the jury chooses a list of approximately 20 newly published German-language books from the fields of fiction, non-fiction, and books for children and young people. These books are showcased on the website by means of sample passages and background material in German, English and the relevant special-focus language, and they are incorporated into the associated Translation Grant Programme. The selection process ensures that the books showcased on are well matched to the interests of those in the area chosen for special focus.

German-Italian Jury (2022-2024)

Dr Maike Albath

Dr Maike Albarth, born 1966, followed courses in French and German Studies in Berlin and Padua, and gained her doctorate with a thesis on contemporary Italian poetry. She has worked as a journalist at the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk / Deutschlandfunk Kultur since 1993. Her literary reviews have appeared in various outlets including Süddeutsche Zeitung  and Die Zeit. She won the Alfred Kerr Prize for Literary Criticism in 2002, followed in 2006 by the 'Übersetzerbarke', a prize awarded by the Association of German-language Translators (VdÜ).

Maike Albath © Maike Albath

Eleonora Di Blasio

Eleonora Di Blasio was born in Naples in 1985, studied Comparative Literature at universities in Montpellier and Berlin, and gained a Master’s degree in Applied Literary Studies at the Free University, Berlin. She has worked for the Frankfurt Book Fair in a variety of its international departments since 2011. She is also a freelance translator from German into Italian.

Eleonora di Blasio © Tobias Koll

Christian Rabhansl

Christian Rabhansl was born in 1976, and studied  Journalism and Sociology in Dortmund and Bochum. He is an editor at the radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur in its ‘Hintergrund Kultur und Politik’ department (‘Background - culture and politics’), where he deals with non-fiction books on socio-political topics and presents the book programme ‘Lesart’. He is a member of the jury for the monthly ‘Best Non-fiction’ list run jointly by Deutschlandfunk Kultur, ZDF and Die Zeit.

Christian Rabhansl © Deutschlandradio / Jann Höfer

Paola Rinaldi

Paola Rinaldi, born 1967, followed courses in German Studies and English Studies at Milan University and Zurich University, undertaking research on various writers including Thomas Mann. She has worked as a bookseller in Milan since the late 1990s. In addition she has worked in publishing since 2010 as a freelance editor and proofreader, and has also worked on occasion as a translator and consultant for various Italian publishers.

Paola Rinaldi © Paola Rinaldi

Dr Marlene Zöhrer

Dr Marlene Zöhrer, born 1977, studied Comparative Literature and gained a doctorate on ‘World literature as reflected in picture books’.  She is an Academic Assistant attached to the Chair in the Didactics of German Language and Literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich; she also works as a freelance journalist, reviewer and consultant in the field of children’s and young adult literature. She is currently a member of of the jury for the 2021-22 German Children’s Literature Prize.

Marlene Zöhrer © Marlene Zöhrer