Dutch writers nominated for two international prizes

Dutch writers nominated for two international prizes

The longlists for two important international literature prizes were announced. Both of the lists include Dutch writers and their translated literary works.
By Lotte Bosch

On 31 March the longlist for The International Booker Prize 2021 was released. For the second year in a row, a Dutch novel is nominated for the prestigious prize. Summer Brother, a story about a 13-year old boy with a disabled brother and uncaring father, written by Jaap Robben and translated by David Dorothy has a chance to win the prize. Last year Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld translated (by Michele Hutchison) debut novel Discomfort of the Evening, was the first Dutch book ever to receive The International Booker Prize 2020. Before Rijneveld, only Tommy Wieringa was longlisted for the translation of his The death of Murat Idrissi and in 2007 Harry Mulisch was nominated for his whole oeuvre.

Crossing borders

The longlist of the International Booker Prize 2021 consists of 13 books translated into English, that were published in the UK and Ireland, selected by a jury of experts. The International Booker Prize aims to encourage more publishing and reading of quality works of imagination from all over the world, and to give greater recognition to the role of translators.

Lucy Hughes-Hallet, chair of the jury, outlines the importance of crossing borders in literature and the power of one’s imagination to inspire others: ‘Authors cross borders, and so do books, refusing to stay put in rigidly separated categories. Thanks to those remarkable books, and to their translators, we’ve been freed to explore the world. We hope this prize will inspire many more readers to follow us.’


The shortlist for the prize will be announced on 22 April 2021, and the winner will be announced on 2 June 2021 during a virtual celebration. For the first time the celebration will not take place in London but in England’s City of Culture 2021 Coventry. The programme of the celebration will be announced on 15 May.

Children’s literature in Germany

Not only in the United-Kingdom but also in Germany, Dutch literature is highly appreciated. The prominent position of Dutch children’s literature is illustrated by the nominations for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. From 667 submitted new publications, either written in or translated into German, the jury of the German youth literature prize selected 24 books in four categories, of which 4 are written and illustrated by Dutch writers and illustrators.

Shark teeth

The Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis is awarded by a jury of literature specialists and critics in four categories: Picture Book, Children’s Book, Young Adult Book and Non-Fiction. In every category, six books are nominated. In three of these categories, Dutch writers and illustrators were nominated, such as the picture book Der kleine Fuchs by Edward van de Vendel and Marije Tolman, translated by Rolf Erdorf and the children’s book (age 10+) Haifischzähne by Anna Woltz, translated by Andrea Kluitmann. Since 1956, the award was won by several Dutch authors and illustrators fifteen times.

The goal of the award is to strengthen children and young adults in their personal development, maintain public interest and to stimulate discussions in this field of literature and to offer guidance to the vast German book market.

Frankfurt Book Fair

The prize announcement and award ceremony will take place on Friday 22 October, during the annual Frankfurt Book Fair. Just like the Booker Prize, the Jugendliteraturpreis will be shared by writer, translator and illustrator, depending on whether it’s an illustrated book or not.

For more news and other information about Dutch literature abroad see the website of the Dutch Foundation for Literature.