Novelist, essayist and philosopher Maxim Februari has been awarded two prestigious Dutch literary prizes, the P.C. Hooft Prize and the C.C.S. Crone Prize. Both are awarded for Februari’s complete works, and the juries of both prizes praise the exceptional quality of his oeuvre. His work has been translated into English, Danish, Spanish and Turkish.
P.C. Hooft Prize 2020
The P.C. Hooft Prize 2020, the most prestigious Dutch literary oeuvre award which comes with a sum of 60,000 euros, goes to Maxim Februari for his essayistic prose. The jury praised both the style of the narrator, which “puts up an effective barrier against dogmatic assertion and unshakable conviction” and the touch of irony in his work. The jury report states:
“In his foreword to De maakbare man. Notities over transseksualiteit (The Making of a Man. Notes on transsexuality), Maxim Februari writes about the shameless curiosity of editors and interviewers about intimate details of a person’s private life, which they clearly expect everyone else to be interested in as well, as if none of us any longer has any shame. Yet every page of the book makes clear that only someone who has been through the process of gender change would be capable of writing about it in such a lucid, playful and humorous way. This book is, unintentionally, a plea for literature – against an excess of it but primarily against a lack of it. Literature badly needs this. Februari deserves the P.C. Hooft Prize for The Making of a Man alone, but fortunately he has written a good deal more, so the prize is his oeuvre’s natural crowning achievement.”
The Making of a Man. Notes on transsexuality was selected for our 2013 Non-fiction brochure and has been translated into English by Andy Brown for Reaktion Books (London), into Spanish by Conchita Alegre Gil for Icono (Bogotá), and into Turkish by Ayşe Düzkan and Gül Özlen for Güldünya (Istanbul).
The annual P.C. Hooft Prize is awarded once every three years in the “essayistic work” category. Previous laureates include Bas Heijne (2017), Willem Jan Otten (2014) and H.J.A. Hofland (2011). The award ceremony will take in The Hague on 26 May 2020.
C.C.S. Crone Prize
This January Maxim Februari received the C.C.S. Crone Prize, a literary oeuvre prize worth 10,000 euro which is awarded – only once every three years – by the municipality of Utrecht. The jury unanimously chose Maxim Februari for his oeuvre which shows, in novels, columns and scientific work, the value of literature in our fast-changing world. Februari is “a writer who occupies a unique place in Dutch literature”, according to the jury, which particularly praised his latest novel Klont (Lump) as
“a critical and humorous masterpiece that magnificently combines different characters and storylines, while at the same time including apposite reflections on the datafication of our society”.
Februari’s recent novel Klont (Lump) was included in our 10 Books from Holland (Spring 2018) catalogue.
Art councillor Anke Klein and writer Maxim Februari
Maxim Februari is a Dutch writer, columnist, and philosopher of law. His novel The Sons of the View (De zonen van het uitzicht) was published in 1989. His major breakthrough came with the award-winning The Book Club (De literaire kring, 2007) which won the Annie Romein-Verschoor Prize and was shortlisted for the Libris and Golden Owl Literature Prizes and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2008 Februari received the Frans Kellendonk Prize for his entire oeuvre. His latest novel Lump (Klont, 2017) offers an erudite reflection on modern developments and was well-received by critics. His work is published by Prometheus. Februari has also written several collections of essays, and since 1999 he has contributed a regular column to newspapers, first to de Volkskrant and now to NRC Handelsblad, often on the subject of justice and morality.