Erik Menkveld has won the Academica Literatuurprijs 2012 for his novel Het grote zwijgen (The Great Silence). The jury described the novel as a wide-ranging and cinematic narrative: “Het grote zwijgen tells the story of a tragic friendship that is rooted in admiration and lofty ideals, but which founders on the banal and merciless reality of war, adultery and betrayal. Above all of that reigns the great, indifferent silence of the firmament.”
Menkveld’s prose debut was published by Van Oorschot. The author received a work grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
The selection of candidates for the Academica prize is made by a jury, while the winner is decided by readers from the Netherlands and Flanders. The other nominees were Erik Nieuwenhuis for Een gat in de lucht (Nieuw Amsterdam) and Daphne Huisden for Alles is altijd fictie (Prometheus).