Shortlist European Literature Prize 2018 announced

28 June 2018

The shortlist for the European Literature Prize 2018 has been presented in Spui25 in Amsterdam. Five titles have been selected by a professional jury led by Anna Enquist as the best Dutch translations of contemporary European novels published last year. A special feature of the prize is that it is awarded to both authors and translators.

The novels selected for the shortlist are as follows (in alphabetical order by author’s name):

  • De acht bergen by Paolo Cognetti, translated from the Italian by Yond Boeke and Patty Krone (De Bezige Bij)
  • Max, Mischa & het Tet-offensief by Johan Harstad, translated from the Norwegian by Edith Koenders and Paula Stevens (Podium)
  • Tijl by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Josephine Rijnaarts (Querido)
  • Wedervaring by Bodo Kirchhoff, translated from the German by Josephine Rijnaarts (Lebowski)
  • Het leven in tijden van vrede by Francesco Pecoraro, translated from the Italian by Els van der Pluijm and Hilda Schraa (Wereldbibliotheek)

The expert jury was made up of Anna Enquist (chair), Kees ’t Hart (author and reviewer at De Groene Amsterdammer), Hein van Kemenade (Boekhandel Van Kemenade & Hollaers, Breda), literary translator Saskia van der Lingen (ELP winner 2017) and Nienke Willemsen (Literaire Boekhandel Lijnmarkt, Utrecht). The longlist was selected by eleven bookshops.

The European Literature Prize draws attention specifically to contemporary novels from the European language area, thereby emphasizing the continent’s literary diversity and cultural richness. The author of the winning book will receive €10,000 and its translator €5,000. The prizes will be presented on Wednesday 31 October 2018 during Crossing Border in The Hague.

Earlier winners were Max Porter and translator Saskia van der Lingen for Verdriet is het ding met veren, Sandro Veronesi and translator Rob Gerritsen for Zeldzame aarden, Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Elly Schippers for Een handvol sneeuw, Jérôme Ferrari and translators Jan Pieter van der Sterre and Reintje Ghoos for De preek over de val van Rome, Emmanuel Carrère and translators Katelijne De Vuyst and Katrien Vandenberghe for Limonov, Julian Barnes and translator Ronald Vlek for Alsof het voorbij is and Marie Ndiaye and translator Jeanne Holierhoek for Drie sterke vrouwen.

The European Literature Prize is an initiative of the Academic-Cultural Centre Spui25, Athenaeum Boekhandel, weekly De Groene Amsterdammer and the Dutch Foundation for Literature. It is financed in part by the Lira Fonds and the De Lancey Foundation.