Hans Joachim Schädlich is the Erich Loest Prize laureate 2019.
Hans Joachim Schädlich was born as the son of a merchant in 1935 in Reichenbach in Vogtland, Saxony, where he also attended school. From 1954 to 1959 he studied German language and literature as well as linguistics at Humboldt University in Berlin and Leipzig University, where he completed his doctorate with a thesis on the phonology of the dialect in the Eastern Vogtland area. Schädlich subsequently worked as a research assistant at the Academy of Sciences of the GDR in Berlin, before being relieved of his post due to his protests against the expatriation of Wolf Biermann. In 1977 his application to leave the country was granted and he has lived in West Berlin since 1979.
Schädlich presented his first literary texts in the late 1960s, but was not allowed to publish them in the GDR. In 1986 Schädlich presented his first novel, Tallhover, which helped to establish him in the West German literature scene. The book was followed by numerous novels, collections of stories, essays and articles, and most recently Felix und Felka.