Tommy Wieringa has won the BookSpot Literature Prize 2018 for his novel Santa Rita (translated into English by Sam Garrett). The prize is one of the biggest Dutch literature prizes, and consists of €50.000. In addition to the jury prize, he also has won the reader’s prize, consisting of €10.000.
Paul Krüzen, the novel’s unlikely hero, is given a gift by his best friend Hedwiges: a medal of Saint Rita, the patron saint of lost causes. Like most of the men in this book, the two are solitary souls, misfits at odds with the modern world. In this majestic novel, Tommy Wieringa not only returns to the rural sensibilities of his barnstorming breakthrough Joe Speedboat but also unites a number of strands from his earlier work: the bonds of friendship, the loner’s battle with his surroundings, and the shadow cast by an absent mother.
Tommy Wieringa (b. 1967) is the author of Alles over Tristan (Everything About Tristan, 2002) and the book which propelled his breakthrough to a wide audience, Joe Speedboat (2005, 300.000 copies sold). His travel stories were collected in Ik was nooit in Isfahaan (I Never Went to Isfahan, 2006). In 2007, De dynamica van begeerte (The Dynamics of Desire) was published, a study into the origins of desire and the major role of pornography in the modern world. Tommy Wieringa’s works have been translated all over the world, into languages like Hebrew, Korean, French, German and English. Dit zijn de namen (These Are the Names) has won the Libris Literatuurprijs and was shortlisted for De Inktaap young readers’ award.