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Non-fiction author honoured

Geert Mak wins Gouden Ganzenveer

13 January 2015

Journalist and author Geert Mak is the recipient of the 2015 Gouden Ganzenveer (golden feather quill). The Academy honours Mak for his extraordinary engagement in both national and international history. The award will be presented to Mak on the 16th of April in Amsterdam.

Geert Mak (1946) made his debut as a writer in 1992 with The angel of Amsterdam and reached a broader audience with his historical work My father’s century in 1999, a history of the Netherlands in the 20th century, based on letters and memories from Mak’s own family. The jury, made up of prominent people from the world of culture, science and politics, praised the way Mak switches effortlessly between his written work and his television show, In Europe. And proceeded:

“In his work, Mak combines many different subjects such as politics, journalism, history and theology. His courage, curiosity and political involvement help him to succeed in transmitting his message in such a convincing way that he has reached over a hundred thousand people in the Netherlands alone.”

Books by Geert Mak have been translated into more than 20 languages, including Chinese, German, English, French and Hebrew. For an overview please visit the translation database of the Dutch Foundation of Literature.

Mak has been been awarded many prizes, such as the Henriëtte Roland Holstprize, and was elected historian of the year. He received the Légion d’Honneur and honor doctorates from the Open University and the University of Münster.

Previous recipients of the prize are David Van Reybrouck, Ramsey Nasr, Annejet van der Zijl, Remco Campert, Joke van Leeuwen, Adriaan van Dis, Joost Zwagerman, Tom Lanoye, Peter van Straaten, Maria Goos, Kees van Kooten, Jan Blokker and Michaël Zeeman.

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