Annet Huizing wins the Premio Cento

8 May 2023

Dutch children’s book author Annet Huizing has won the Premio di Letteratura per Ragazzi ‘Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cento’ 2023, the prize for the best original or translated Italian children’s book. She received the prestigious ‘Premio Cento’ or ‘Cento Prize’ for Het Pungelhuis (The Burlap House), translated into Italian by Anna Patrucco Becchi as La casa del contrabbandiere (La Nuova Frontiera, 2022).

It is the second consecutive year a Dutch children’s book wins the Premio Cento – last year’s winner was Anna Woltz with Mijn bijzonder rare week met Tess (My Particularly Peculiar Week with Tess), also translated by Becchi.

Het Pungelhuis (The Burlap House)

Why didn’t anyone ever tell Ole he had another grandpa? And why is he now only being told that he was a horrible man? For Ole, the past comes to life when he returns with his father to grandpa’s house in the woods of Brabant, near the border with Belgium. In the 1950s and 1960s, a fierce battle raged there between butter smugglers and commissioners. Slowly but surely, Ole discovers why his father never wanted to talk about his grandfather.

‘A novel of great originality and style, in which the voices of the characters intertwine to brush a stagnant rural portrait forced to come to terms and peace with their past, for a future available to new generations,’ the Premio Cento jury writes.

The Italian translation of Het Pungelhuis is supported by the Dutch Foundation for Literature with a Translation Grant.

Watch a video of Annet Huizing on Het Pungelhuis/ La casa del contrabbandiere (Italian subtitles):

Dutch youth arts in Italy

Annet Huizing’s victory is in line with the remarkable popularity of Dutch children’s and youth literature in Italy in recent years. The international campaign FuturoPresente, attempts to put contemporary Dutch youth arts in Italy on the map. As part of the programme, a selection of Dutch theater makers, writers, illustrators, choreographers and filmmakers present themselves to the Italian public and professionals. FuturoPresente is a program of the Embassy and Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Italy and four major Dutch cultural institutions Performing Arts FundNL, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Dutch Cultural Participation Fund and SeeNL.