Samuel Hamen wins the Servais prize

The Servais prize is one of the country’s most prestigious literary accolades. It is awarded to works published in the previous year in Luxembourg. In 2024, the literary prize was awarded to Samuel Hamen for his first novel "Wie die Fliegen".

Readers become accomplices in an intriguing detective story 

"Wie die Fliegen" chronicles a detective's journey searching for a missing teenager in a city tarnished by climate change, species extinction and ecological grief.

In the book, Samuel Hamen plays with the conventions of crime fiction and narrative ambiguity. The readers are transformed into bewildered accomplices as they delve deeper into the book, gradually discovering new aspects of a fragile, dystopian world. The author blends topical issues with philosophical insight to create a densely atmospheric setting with a demanding yet captivating aesthetic.

The linguistic reflection inherent in the text is revealed in a highly sophisticated artistic language, which itself becomes the subject of the plot. Surprising comparisons and metaphors form the framework of the character-narrator's perception and allow him to access a world that increasingly seems far removed from clear meaning.

In a world of media overload, where attention spans are often fragmented, the novel can be seen as an attempt to forge a closer understanding of reality through literature. "Wie die Fliegen" is a revision in German of the unpublished manuscript in Luxembourgish "I.L.E.", for which the author was awarded first prize in the Concours littéraire national 2019.

Samuel Hamen was born in 1988, he lives and works as a freelance writer in Luxembourg and Germany. He writes prose, poetry, literary criticism and plays. In 2020, he was one of the founding members of the A:LL Schrëftsteller*innen writers' association, which he chaired until 2023. For the 2022-24 seasons, he is the resident playwright at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg.

The novel is published by Diaphanes.


Portrait of the author
© Maria Mast

Thirty years of awards

The Servais Prize, awarded by the eponymous Foundation, is a literary prize and includes € 7,500 in prize money which has been granted every year since 1992 for works of poetry or prose published in Luxembourg, irrespective of the language of publication. Former winners include many famous Luxembourg authors such as Nico Helminger (2014 and 2018), Nora Wagener (2017), Ulrike Bail (2021) and Jérôme Quiqueret (2023). The Servais Prize is awarded by an independent jury.

The Servais 2024 prize will be presented on 9 July at the Centre national de littérature (CNL) in Mersch.