Five translations have been nominated for the Vondel Translation Prize 2021. This biennial prize of the Dutch Foundation for Literature awards the best English-language translation of a Dutch-language literary or cultural-historical work with a cash prize of €5,000. The winner will be announced during the online award ceremony on Thursday 10 February 2022, organized by the British The Society of Authors.
‘The five highly-skilled translators display an ear for dialogue, a keen understanding of characterization, and an ability to create a distinctive narrative voice’
The jury, which consists of jury members Susan Massotty, Jane Draycott and Michele Hutchison, nominated the following translations:
David Colmer for a translation of Will by Jeroen Olyslaegers (Pushkin Press)
David Doherty for a translation of Summer Brother by Jaap Robben (World Editions)
David McKay for a translation of Adrift in the Middle Kingdom by J. Slauerhoff (Handheld Press)
Jane Hedley-Prole for a translation of The Republic by Joost de Vries (Other Press)
Laura Watkinson for a translation of Lampie by Annet Schaap (Pushkin Children’s)
The judges said of this year’s shortlist:
The books on the shortlist cover time periods spanning more than a century and take the reader to vastly different worlds, whether it be that of a ship’s doctor in the 1920s, a present-day academic, a Flemish policeman during the second world war, a thirteen-year-old boy or a lighthouse keeper’s daughter. The five highly skilled translators display an ear for dialogue, a keen understanding of characterization, and an ability to create a distinctive narrative voice.
All nominated English translations have been published in 2019 or 2020.