Formentor Literature Prize to Cees Nooteboom

1 May 2020

Cees Nooteboom has been awarded the Formentor Literature Prize 2020, the most prestigious annual Spanish literature prize for an international author, worth 50.000 euro. The jury praised Nooteboom as a poet, novelist, essayist and critic of art who “has exceeded with his incessant creativity the limit proposed by literary genres”.

The Jury of the Formentor Literature Prize 2020, made up by Judith Thurman, Alberto Manguel, José Enrique Ruiz Doménec, Alexis Grohmann and its President Basilio Baltasar, lauded Nooteboom as

“a traveling writer who has made nomadism a philosophical, aesthetic and spiritual stance that transcends borders and highlights the expansive nature of human horizons.

Nooteboom is a universal author who writes with the consciousness of belonging to the great European cultural tradition. He has both lived firsthand and contemplated from afar the spectacular historical moments of our continent: he knows very well the dilemmas that Europe must resolve.”

About Cees Nooteboom

Cees Nooteboom (The Hague, 1933) is one of the greatest and most original contemporary Dutch writers: translator of Spanish, Catalan, French, and German poetry, and of Amerian theater; author of novels, poetry, essays and travel books. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
He has won numerous awards for his extensive and versatile oeuvre, among which the P.C. Hooft Prize, the Bordewijk Prize, the American Pegasus Prize for Rituelen (Rituals), and the European Aristeion Prize.

Nooteboom debuted in 1955 with the novel Philip en de anderen (Philip and the Others) and has since built up an impressive oeuvre of novels, poetry, short stories and travelogues. His novel Rituelen was published in 1980 and has been translated into more than 20 languages. As a journalist, he reported on many key moments in European history, such as the civil unrest in Paris in May 1968 and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Nooteboom has received honorary doctorates from the universities of Brussels, Nijmegen, Berlin and University College London. Besides a royal distinction in the Netherlands, he has also been honored with distinctions from the French, German, Chilean, and Spanish governments.

Formentor Literature Prize

The Formentor Literature Prize or Premio Formentor de las Letras is a recognition of the quality and integrity of the authors whose work consolidates the prestige and influence of great literature. Former winners include Jorge Luis Borges, Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Jorge Semprún, Witold Gombrowicz, Roberto Calasso, Mircea Cartarescu and Annie Ernaux.