‘No, we are the people too’ … Sharon Dodua Otoo receives the Bachmann award at the ceremony in Klagenfurt, Austria. Photograph: Susanne Hassler/EPA

‘No, we are the people too’ … Sharon Dodua Otoo receives the Bachmann award at the ceremony in Klagenfurt, Austria. Photograph: Susanne Hassler/EPA

Sharon Dodua Otoo takes €25,000 Ingeborg Bachmann prize with Herr Gröttrup Sits Down, about the rocket scientist who worked for the Nazis, then the USSR.

When Sharon Dodua Otoo moved from Ilford to Hanover as an au pair in 1992, her family were concerned. Would a black girl from outer London cope with provincial Germany? “They were really panicked about it. ‘Don’t stay too long,’ they said.”

Twenty-four years later Dodua Otoo not only still lives in Germany, but has just won arguably the most prestigious award in the German language, the Ingeborg Bachmann prize – for the first and only short story she has ever written in the language of her adopted homeland.

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