Dutch author wins International Booker prize

Marieke Rijneveld
Marieke Rijneveld Picture courtesy: Wikipedia

International Booker Prize awards work translated into English. This year, debutant author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld became the first Dutch person to win this award along with translator Michele Hutchison.

The Booker Prizes reward the finest in fiction, highlighting great books to readers and transforming authors’ careers. The symmetrical relationship between The Booker Prize for Fiction and The International Booker Prize ensures that they honour fiction and the best writing on a global basis.

“The Discomfort of Evening,” Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel, a best-seller in the Netherlands, left critics in Britain shaken but impressed quotes the New York Times. Ted Hodgkinson, the chair of the judging panel, said in a statement that “The Discomfort of Evening” was “a tender and visceral evocation of a childhood caught between shame and salvation, and a deeply deserving winner.”

The 29-year-old Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has become the youngest author ever to win the International Booker prize in the process beating Nobel prize-winning authors. Jas, the protagonist, lives with her devout farming family in the rural Netherlands. One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice-skating trip. Resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns. As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.

A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands by a prize-winning young poet, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel lays everything bare. It is a world of language unlike any other, which Michele Hutchison’s striking translation captures in all its wild, violent beauty. The translator Michelle Hutchinson is also an author. She has penned a book along with Rina Mae Costa, The Happiest Kids in the world.

For Eindhoven News:

Beena Arunraj

Features Editor-in-Chief, Eindhoven News, is a dentist who followed her passion, becoming a writer. She also works as a freelance content creator, copywriter and inks media campaigns for businesses and organisations.

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