The Dioraphte Prizes for Youth Literature have been awarded by the jury to Anne-Gine Goemans (in the Dutch-language category) and Paul Murray (in the foreign-language category); Dutch writer Arjen Lubach received the prize awarded by the public. The prize money for each award consists of 15,000 euro.
Goemans (b. 1971) received the award for her second novel Glijvlucht (Gliding Flight) which was praised by the jury as “a well-balanced, complete novel, which distinguishes itself through its multitude of themes and unconventional, if not eccentric, characters whose personality traits are both tragicomic and touchingly familiar”.
“The setting, a residential area alongside a runway at Schiphol airport, is original and slightly absurd. […] But the element that proves unforgettable is Goemans’ fourteen-year-old protagonist: a great lover of geese, who dreams of heroism and a grand and exciting life. The author shows remarkable insight into the universal themes of life as an adolescent. Insecure and irrational, prone to anxiety and driven by hormones, the teenager blurs the line between reality and fantasy, and the consequences are bizarre, exciting and hilarious. All of the narrative threads are ingeniously woven together, in a surprisingly light-hearted tone and a bright and vivid style, while the author draws convincing parallels between the present and the past.”
German, Italian and Icelandic translations of the novel are in preparation.
In the the foreign-language category the highest praise of the jury was for Irish author Paul Murray and his Dutch translator Dirk Jan Arensman for the novel Skippy tussen de sterren (Skippy dies): “a never-ending journey of discovery on the road to adulthood.”
The votes of the readers went - by an overwhelming majority - to Magnus, the third book of Dutch author Arjen Lubach (1979). This light-hearted three-act drama, written with great pace and set in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland was described by the jury as “a thrilling whodunit, an original road novel, a beautiful and melancholy reflection on life and love and a surprising coming-of-age story. Lubach succeeds in ingeniously combining a wealth of genres and themes, capturing them in cinematic images, well-written dialogue, philosophical daydreams and poetic language.”
More information about Glijvlucht can be found in the Autumn 2011 issue of our 10 Books from Holland and Flanders; or contact our translation grants / fiction staff: Barbara den Ouden or Victor Schiferli.