Writer A.F.Th van der Heijden has won this year’s € 50,000 Libris literature prize for his novel Tonio, based on the death of his son in 2010. The book, which has sold over 100,000 copies, was regarded as the favourite for the prize.
The jury praised the novel:
“All emotional registers associated with death and grief are described with great skill: from hearing the news to denial, from anger to acceptance. In the final chorus of this symphony of death, you can hear hope, however merciless that might seem in view of the foregoing events.”
The jury chose Van der Heijden’s novel from a shortlist of six books by the authors Jeroen Brouwers (Bittere bloemen, ‘Bitter Flowers’), Jan van Mersbergen (Naar de overkant van de nacht, ‘To the Other Side of the Night’), Miquel Bulnes (Het bloed in onze aderen, ‘The blood in our veins’), Jan Van Loy (Ik, Hollywood, ) and Ivo Victoria (Gelukkig zijn we machteloos, ‘Fortunately We’re Powerless’).