European Literature Prize shortlist announced

6 June 2013

The shortlist for the European Literature Prize 2013 has been announced during a festive evening at SPUI25 in Amsterdam. From a longlist of 21 translated titles, the jury has selected five from which the winner will be chosen. The prize will be awarded on 31 August, during the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam.

The five shortlisted titles are as follows (in alphabetical order by author's name):

  • Mr Gwyn by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Manon Smits (De Bezige Bij)
  • Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère, translated from the French by Katelijne De Vuyst and Katrien Vandenberghe (De Bezige Bij Antwerpen)
  • Liefde by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated from the Norwegian by Marianne Molenaar (De Geus)
  • Coupé No6 by Rosa Liksom, translated from the Finnish by Annemarie Raas (Podium)
  • De verliefden by Javier Marías translated from the Spanish by Aline Glastra van Loon (J.M. Meulenhoff)

Some aspects considered by the jury in selecting the shortlist:

With Mr Gwyn Alessandro Baricco provides an insight into the domain of creation. With minimal means, he builds a universe which appeals to the imagination of the reader in a superior manner.

In Limonov Emmanuel Carrère draws an original and highly convincing picture of the Russian writer and semi-revolutionist Limonov, which at the same time outlines the desperation of contemporary Russia in blazing colours.

Liefde (Min kamp. Andre bok) by Karl Ove Knausgård is a profound and fascinating autobiographical novel about the difficult relation between man and woman, father and child, love and work.

Rosa Liksom is a fresh, original voice in Scandinavian literature. Reading Coupé No6 (Hytti nro 6) is a liberating and enriching experience.

Javier Marías shows a deep insight into the human mind and incitement. De verliefden (Los enamoramientos) offers a wealth of masterly contemplation on the two big themes of literature: love and death.

The European Literature Prize will be presented for the third time in 2013, recognizing the best novel translated from a European language into Dutch in 2012. The winners of the previous years were Alsof het voorbij is (The Sense of an Ending) by Julian Barnes and translator Ronald Vlek and Drie sterke vrouwen (Trois femmes puissantes) by Marie NDiaye and translator Jeanne Holierhoek. The prize goes to both the author and the translator of the chosen title, with the author receiving the sum of € 10.000 and the translator € 2.500.

The longlist is chosen by thirteen independent bookshops. From this, a panel of experts then selects the shortlist and the winner.

The jury members are:

  • Alexander Rinnooy Kan, chairman; professor of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam and an avid reader
  • Kees ’t Hart, writer and literary critic
  • Judith Uyterlinde, writer and literary critic
  • Arno Koek, Boekhandel Blokker, Heemstede
  • Maartje Kroonen, Literaire Boekhandel Lijnmarkt, Utrecht

The European Literature Prize is an initiative of the Academic-Cultural Centre SPUI25, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer and Athenaeum Boekhandel. The following independent bookshops have helped to make it possible:

More information

For further information please contact the Dutch Foundation for Literature, tel. +31 20 520 73 00: George van Elburg, mob. +31 6 47233321 or e-mail: or Hanneke Marttin (press, publications and websites), e-mail:

You can download the logo of the European Literature Prize here:

George van Elburg


George van Elburg

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