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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

While the Gods Were Sleeping shortlisted for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

In Awards, Masters on April 11, 2015 at 5:39 PM

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The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was inaugurated by British newspaper The Independent to honour contemporary fiction in translation in the United Kingdom. This year eminent Dutch-language Belgian author Erwin Mortier’s While the Gods Were Sleeping is one of the contenders, joined by literary giant Haruki Murakami, German authors Jenny Erpenbeck and Daniel Kehlmann, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel from Equatorial Guinea and Colombian Tomás González. The winner will be presented with the prize at the Royal Institute of British Architects on 27 May.

Helena’s mother always said she was a born poetess. It was not a compliment. Now an old woman, Helena looks back on her life and tries to capture the past, filling notebook after notebook with memories of her respectable, rigid upbringing, her unyielding mother, her loyal father, her golden-haired brother. She remembers how, at their uncle’s country house in the summer of 1914, their stately bourgeois life of good manners, white linen and afternoon tea collapsed into ruins. And how, with war, came a kind of liberation amidst the mud and rubble and the appearance of a young English photographer who transformed her existence.

Lyrical and tender, filled with images of blazing intensity, While the Gods Were Sleeping asks how it is possible to record the dislocation of war; to describe the indescribable. It is a breathtaking novel about the act of remembering, how the past seeps into our lives and how those we have lost leave their trace in the present.

While the Gods Were Sleeping was translated by acclaimed translator Paul Vincent and published by Pushkin Press.

Erwin Mortier made his mark in 1999 with his debut novel Marcel, which was awarded several prizes in Belgium and the Netherlands, and received acclaim throughout Europe. While the Gods were Sleeping received the AKO Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Netherlands.

Paul Vincent taught Dutch at the University of London for over twenty years before becoming a full-time translator. He has translated a wide variety of literature from Dutch, including Louis Couperus’s Inevitable and the Hidden Force as well as J.J. Slauerhoff’s The Forbidden Kingdom for Pushkin Press. In 2012 he was awarded the Vondel Translation Prize.

Interview Gerbrand Bakker

In Awards, Interviews on July 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Gerbrand Bakker - Eimer Wieldraaijer
PEN Atlas Editor, Tasja Dorkofikis talks to Gerbrand Bakker about his novel, The Detour (titled Ten White Geese in the US), walking in Wales for two weeks, translating Emily Dickinson and about working with his translator David Colmer.

The Twin brought you much international recognition. Was it difficult to write a new novel after winning the IMPAC? Or was it in some way liberating to know that you have that official stamp of approval?

The Detour was already finished when The Twin was awarded with the IMPAC. It came out in October of 2010 here in Holland. So: no. But: since The Detour (or Ten White Geese in the US) I haven’t written anything, apart from my weblog and the occasional story or column. I simply did not feel like it. What I did do in the end with the prize money was to buy a house with land in The Eifel, Germany. Since the first of December last year I own it, and I go there a lot. One part of the house will be renovated later this spring, and there I will have a – I hope – wonderful, big writing room with only a wood burning stove in it, accessible via a staircase, outside the house. I’ve been having some problems with depression and stuff, and now I feel just fine, writing is not a part of my daily life, but I do feel like I have to have the feeling of wanting to write, if you know what I mean. Usually I’m very happy when I write. I work like a horse then: I don’t think or analyse much, I just move forward until the book is finished.

Read the entire interview with Gerbrand Bakker on EnglishPEN.org

(c) Photo by Eimer Wieldraaijer

Caesarion shortlisted for IMPAC

In Awards on April 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Wieringa shortlisted for IMPAC
Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa is one of the ten books contending for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2013. Thanks to his shortlisted novel, Wieringa finds himself in the company of Michel Houellebecq (The Map and the Territory) and Haruki Murakami (1Q84).

The Impac Award is unusual because both novels written in English as well as novels translated into English are allowed to compete. The prize of €100,000, awarded annually, is divided between translator (€25,000) and author (€75,000) if a translation wins. The international jury, chaired by Eugene R. Sullivan, will announce the winner on Thursday 6th June.

About Caesarion
Ludwig Unter’s life held such promise. His parents were artists and, from an early age, his own musical genius had marked him out for a stellar career in the world’s concert halls. In his mother’s imagination, Ludwig is already on the way to surpassing her most ambitious dreams for him. But in reality, and for now, he’s playing in local cocktail bars and the two of them are living alone in a storm-lashed clifftop cottage in East Anglia. As the forceful winter seas bash away at the coastline, and Ludwig plunks away at the piano, he begins to tell a woman his story: a story of beauty and decay, of a child’s faith and parental betrayal, and of the importance, in the end, of self-sacrifice.

Caesarion was translated by Sam Garrett and published by Portobello (UK) and Grove (USA, under the title Little Caesar).

Nominees 2013 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

In Awards on November 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The Book of Doubt - Tesa de Loo

154 books have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Four Dutch authors are among 43 American, 22 British and 12 Canadian, 8 Irish novels as well as 42 books translated into English from 18 other languages:

The Book of Doubt by Tessa de Loo, translated by Brian Doyle (Haus Publishing, UK). Tessa de Loo’s novel The Twins has been translated into 25 languages. She is also the author of In Byron’s Footsteps.

Even though he is the son of a Dutch mother, Saeed has a Moroccan first name in memory of the virtuoso oud player his mother fell in love with twenty years ago. When she found out she was pregnant, he ran off and returned to Morocco. Saeed decides to look for his father, in the hope of finding a new identity in a new world.

Julia by Otto de Kat, translated by Ina Rilke (MacLehose Press, UK)

One summer’s afternoon in 1981, a factory owner, Christiaan Dudok, is found dead in his study having taken his own life. He has left no suicide note, but on his desk is a newspaper from 2 April 1942, reporting on the bombing of the north German town of Lübeck. The list of the dead includes the highlighted name of Julia Bender. As a young man finishing his studies in Lübeck in 1938, Christiaan is irresistibly drawn to Julia, a courageous German who has emphatically rejected the Nazi regime.

Otto de Kat lives and works as a publisher and novelist in Amsterdam. Man on the Move (MacLehose Press, 2009) was the winner of Holland’s Halewijn Literature Prize.

Caesarion (US title: Little Caesar) by Tommy Wieringa, translated by Sam Garrett, nominated edition Portobello Books Ltd., UK.

Caesarion is a novel that asks how anyone can ever know for sure how to be the right parent for their child, and how any child can know how to let themselves be parented. It is a beautiful, strong and brave novel. It confirms Tommy Wieringa as a storyteller of great range and real distinction.

Tommy Wieringa’s novel Joe Speedboat was awarded with the Holland’s Halewijn prize.

The Cocaine Salesman by Conny Braam, translated by Jonathan Reeder (nominated edition: Haus Publishing)

On 31st July 1917, 26-year-old Englishman Robin Ryder clambers from a trench on the Flanders battlefields and charges recklessly towards the German artillery. Later he is heavily wounded by a German grenade; despite extensive plastic surgery, half his face will have to be hidden behind a mask.

Conny Braam’s other books include Operatie Vula, De Bokkeslachter and Zwavel, a trilogy of novels about the Abraham family.

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