The longlist of UK’s International Booker Prize 2020 is announced. Among the 13 nominated titles is The Discomfort of Evening by Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translator Michele Hutchison. The novel will be published by Faber & Faber on March the 19th. The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single book translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The contribution of both author and translator is given equal recognition, with the £50,000 prize split between them.
The Discomfort of Evening takes the reader into an oppressive and repulsive world where detail is what matters. A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s radical debut novel is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a world of language unlike any other.
I asked God if he please couldn’t take my brother Matthies instead of my rabbit. ‘Amen.’
Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of ‘blush words’ that aren’t in the Bible. But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies – unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all.
The USA edition of the novel is to follow in September at Graywolf Press. The Discomfort of Evening has also been translated in German (published by Suhrkamp) and Italian (published by Nutrimenti), with translations into Arabic, French, Korean, Spanish on the way.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld will be in London on 26 March in the London Review Bookshop for a conversation with artist, poet and translator Sophie Collins on The Discomfort of Evening. More information on this event on our New Dutch Writing website: newdutchwriting.co.uk.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (b. 1991) grew up in a Reformed farming family in North Brabant before moving to Utrecht. One of the greatest new voices in Dutch literature, her first poetry collection, Calfskin (Kalfsvlies), was awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize for best poetry debut in 2015, with the newspaper de Volkskrant naming her the literary talent of the year. In 2018, Atlas Contact published her first novel, The Discomfort of Evening, which won the prestigious ANV Debut Prize and was a national bestseller. Alongside her writing career, Rijneveld works on a dairy farm.
International Booker Prize
This year’s International Booker Prize judges - Ted Hodgkinson, Lucie Campos, Jennifer Croft, Valeria Luiselli and Jeet Thayil – considered 124 novels to select their “Booker dozen”. The shortlist of six books is to be announced on Thursday, 2 April in London. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000. The winner of the International Booker Prize 2020 will be announced in May.