With his fourth novel, Een honger (A Hunger), previously awarded with the Dutch BNG Bank Literatuurprijs, Jamal Ouariachi wins the European Union Prize for Literature. “Besides exploring the nature of love and examining the wisdom and folly of development aid”, the jury praised _A Hunger _ for delivering “a fierce polemic against rigid sexual mores and is above all an exhilarating tour de force.”
Jamal Ouariachi (1978) is the son of a Dutch mother and a Moroccan father. He studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam and spent years working as an online therapist. He made his literary debut in 2010 with the novel De vernietiging van Prosper Morèl (The Destruction of Prosper Morèl). Since then he has written controversial stories, articles and columns for a range of leading publications including nrc.next, HP/De Tijd, de Volkskrant, Knack Focus and Vogue. His second novel Tenderness earned him a nomination for the Gouden Boekenuil shortlist. Jamal’s novels are published by Querido.
The annual European Union Prize for Literature is awarded to twelve promising authors of the 36 countries currently involved in the Creative Europe programme. Winners will receive 5.000 euro and international attention.
Ouariachi is the third Dutch novelist to receive the award. In 2011 the prize was awarded to Rodaan Al Galidi for De autist en de postduif and in 2014 to Marente de Moor for De Nederlandse maagd (The Dutch Maiden). In both cases this led to a considerable amount of translations.
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We could say that the novel is the most courageous one in Dutch literature in decades.