International Booker Prize voor Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

International Booker Prize voor Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

De Nederlandse schrijfster Marieke Lucas Rijneveldheeft de prestigieuze International Booker Prize gewonnen met de debuutroman The Discomfort of Evening, de Engelse vertaling van Rijnevelds debuutroman De avond is ongemak. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld werd geboren in Nieuwendijk op 20 april 1991. Zie ook alle tags voor Marieke Lucas Rijneveld op dit blog.

Uit: The Discomfort of Evening

‘Meat or cheese first before you go for the sweet stuff,’ she’d always say. This was the rule and it would make us big and strong, as big as the giant Goliath and as strong as Samson in the Bible. We always had to drink a large glass of fresh milk as well; it had usually been out of the tank for a couple of hours and was lukewarm, and sometimes there was a yellowish layer of cream that stuck to the top of your mouth if you drank too slowly. The best thing was to gulp down the whole glass of milk with your eyes closed, something Mum called ‘irreverent’ although there’s nothing in the Bible about drinking milk slowly, or about eating a cow’s body. I took a slice of white bread from the basket and put it on my plate upside down so that it looked just like a pale toddler’s bum, even more convincing when partly spread with chocolate spread, which never failed to amuse me and my brothers, and they’d always say, ‘Are you arse-licking again?’

‘If you put goldfish in a dark room for too long they go really pale,’ I whispered to Matthies, putting six slices of cooked sausage on my bread so that they covered it perfectly. You’ve got six cows and two of them get eaten. How many are left? I heard the teacher’s voice inside my head every time I ate something. Why those stupid sums were combined with food – apples, cakes, pizzas and biscuits – I didn’t know, but in any case the teacher had given up hope that I’d ever be able to do sums, that my exercise book would ever be pristine white without a single red underscore. It had taken me a year to learn to tell the time – Dad had spent hours with me at the kitchen table with the school’s practice clock which he’d sometimes thrown on the floor in despair, at which point the mechanism would bounce out and the annoying thing would just keep on ringing – and even now when I looked at a clock the arms would still sometimes turn into the earthworms we dug out of the ground behind the cowshed with a fork to use as fishing bait. They wriggled every which way when you held them between forefinger and thumb and didn’t calm down until you gave them a couple of taps, and then they’d lie in your hand and look just like those sweet, red strawberry shoelaces from Van Luik’s sweet-shop.


Marieke Lucas Rijneveld  (Nieuwendijk, 20 april 1991)

Man Booker Prize 2018 voor Anna Burns

Man Booker Prize voor Anna Burns

De Man Booker Prize, de belangrijkste prijs voor Engelstalige literatuur, gaat dit jaar naar de Noord-Ierse schrijfster Anna Burns. Ze krijgt de onderscheiding voor haar roman “Milkman”, die speelt in het Noord-Ierland van de jaren 70. Zie ook alle tags voor Anna Burns op dit blog.

Uit: Milkman

“Third time of the millanan was when he appeared not long after my adult evening French class. This dass was downtown and it had surprising things. Often these would not be French things. Often too, there would be more of Litern than would be the French things. At this latest lesson, which took place on Wednes-day evening, teacher was reading from a book. This was a French book, a proper French book — one that native speakers cottld read without considering it beneath them — and wacher said she was reading from it to get us used to what authentic French sounded like when strung together in Full-on passages — in this rase, a lit-erary passage. Thing was though, the sky in this passage she was reading from wasn’t blue. Eventually she got interrupted because someone in the dass — spokesperson for the test of us — naturally couldn’t stand it. Something was wrong and he had a need, for the sake of all things generic, to point it out. ‘1’m confused,’ he said. ‘1s that passage akut the sky? lf it is about the sky then why doesn’t the writer just say so? Why is he complicating things with fang footwork when all he need say is that the sky is blue?’ ‘Hear! Hear!’ cried us oti if some of us, like me, didn’t cry it, certainly we agreed in sentiment. ‘Le ciel est bleu! Le ciel est bleu!’ shouted many of the others. ‘That would have deared matten. Why didn’t he just put that?’ We were disturbed, and not a little, but wacher, she laughed which was something she did a lot. She did this because she had an unnerving amount of humour — another thing which ruffled us as well. Whenever she laughed, we weren’t sure whether to laugh along with her to be curious and engaged and to ask why she was laughing, or to be sulky and offended and seriously up in ums. This time, as usual, we opted for up in arms. ‘What a waste of time and a confusion of subjects; complained a woman. ‘That writer ought not to be featuring in a French lesson even if he is French if he’s not doing anything about teaching it. This is”learning a foreign language” dass, not a dass on burdening us with taking things apart which are in the saure language to find out if they’re a poem or something. If we wanted figttres of speech and rhetorical flourishes, with one thing representing another thing when the represented thing could easily have been itself in the first place, then we’d have gone to English Literature with Chose weirdos down the hall.”Yeah!’ cried us and also we cried, ‘A spade’s a spade!’, also the popular ‘JA ciel est Neurand ‘What’s ihe point? There’s no point!’ continued to come out of us. Everyone was nodding and slapping desks and murmuring and acclaiming. And now it was time, we thought, to give our spokespeople and ourselves a jolly good round of applause. ‘So, dass,’ said wacher after this applause had diel down, ‘is it that you think the sky can only be blue?’ The sky is blue,’ warne us. ‘What colour eise can it be?’

Anna Burns (Belfast, 1962)

Man Booker Prize 2015 voor Marlon James

Man Booker Prize 2015 voor Marlon James

De Jamaicaanse schrijver Marlon James heeft de Man Booker Prize 2015 gewonnen voor “Een beknopte geschiedenis van zeven moorden”. Zie ook alle tags voor Marlon James op dit blog.

UitA Brief History of Seven Killings

Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you’re coming from and you’re always returning from it. You know where you’re going though you never seem to get there and you’re just dead. Dead. It sounds final but it’s a word missing an ing. You come across men longer dead than you, walking all the time though heading nowhere and you listen to them howl and hiss because we’re all spirits or we think we are all spirits but we’re all just dead. Spirits that slip inside other spirits. Sometimes a woman slips inside a man and wails like the memory of making love. They moan and keen loud but it comes through the window like a whistle or a whisper under the bed, and little children think there’s a monster. The dead love lying under the living for three reasons. (1) We’re lying most of the time. (2) Under the bed looks like the top of a coffin, but (3) There is weight, human weight on top that you can slip into and make heavier, and you listen to the heart beat while you watch it pump and hear the nostrils hiss when their lungs press air and envy even the shortest breath. I have no memory of coffins.
But the dead never stop talking and sometimes the living hear. This is what I wanted to say. When you’re dead speech is nothing but tangents and detours and there’s nothing to do but stray and wander awhile. Well, that’s at least what the others do. My point being that the expired learn from the expired, but that’s tricky. I could listen to myself, still claiming to anybody that would hear that I didn’t fall, I was pushed over the balcony at the Sunset Beach Hotel in Montego Bay. And I can’t say shut your trap, Artie Jennings, because every morning I wake up having to put my pumpkin-smashed head back together. And even as I talk now I can hear how I sounded then, can you dig it, dingledoodies? meaning that the afterlife is just not a happening scene, not a groovy shindig, Daddy-O, see those cool cats on the mat? They could never dig it, and there’s nothing to do but wait for the man that killed me, but he won’t die, he only gets older and older and trades out wives for younger and younger and breeding a whole brood of slow-witted boys and running the country down into the ground.”

Marlon James (Kingston, 24 november 1970)

Man Booker Prize voor Richard Flanagan

Man Booker Prize voor Richard Flanagan

De Australische schrijver Richard Flanagan heeft de Man Booker Prize 2014 gewonnen met zijn boek “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”. Dat is dinsdagavond in Londen door de jury bekendgemaakt.

De Australische schrijver Richard Flanagan werd geboren in Longford, Tasmanië, in 1961, als vijfde van zes kinderen. Hij groeide op in het afgelegen mijnstadje Rosebery aan de westkust. Flanagan verliet de school op 16-jarige leeftijd, maar ging later toch studeren aan de universiteit van Tasmanië. Hij behaalde zijn Bachelor of Arts en verwierf het daarop volgende jaar een Rhodes Scholarship aan het Worcester College, Oxford. Flanagan schreef vier non-fictie werken voordat hij overstapte op fictie. In 1994 verscheen zijn eerste roman “Death of a River Guide”, die hem beroemd maakte en in 1997 zijn tweede roman “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” , winnaar van de Australian Booksellers Book of the Year Award en de Vance Palmer Prize voor fictie. Het boek was een groot succes. Er werden meer dan 150.000 exemplaren van verkocht in Australië.  Dit succes werd gecontinueerd met de uitstekende receptie van zijn derde roman “Gould’s Book of Fish”, gepubliceerd in 2001.  Zijn roman “The unknown terrorist”,  gepubliceerd in 2007, werd zelfs wereldwijd goed ontvangen. Zijn meest recente roman “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” uit 2013 vertelt het levensverhaal van Dorrigo Evans, een gehandicapte oorlogsheld en overlevende van de Death Railway. Een verfilming van “The Sound of One Hand Clapping” werd  geselecteerd voor het Filmfestival van Berlijn in 1998. Richard Flanagan heeft eveneens artikelen geschreven over literatuur, milieu, kunst en politiek voor de Australische en internationale pers, waaronder Le Monde, The Daily Telegraph (Londen), Süddeutsche Zeitung, de New York Times en de New Yorker. Enkele van zijn artikelen waren omstreden. “De Selling-out of Tasmania”, gepubliceerd na de dood van de voormalige premier Jim Bacon in 2004, was kritisch over de relatie van Bacons regering met het bedrijfsleven.

Uit: The Narrow Road to the Deep North

“He felt more soft raindrops, saw bright-red oil against the brown mud, heard his mother calling again, but it was unclear what she was saying, was she calling him home or was it the sea? There was a world and there was him and the thread joining the two was stretching and stretching, he was trying to pull himself up that thread, he was desperately trying to haul himself back home to where his mother was calling. He tried calling to her but his mind was running out of his mouth in a long, long river towards the sea.”

“He felt the withering of something, the way risk was increasingly eliminated, replaced with a bland new world where the viewing of food preparation would be felt to be more than the reading of poetry; where excitement would come from paying for a soup made out of foraged grass. He had eaten soup made out of foraged grass in the camps; he preferred food.”

““He pulled out a book here and there, but what kept catching his attention were the diagonal tunnels of sunlight rolling in through the dormer windows. All around him dust motes rose and fell, shimmering, quivering in those shafts of roiling light. He found several shelves full of old editions of classical writers and began vaguely browsing, hoping to find a cheap edition of Virgil’s Aeneid, which he had only ever read in a borrowed copy. It wasn’t really the great poem of antiquity that Dorrigo Evans wanted though, but the aura he felt around such books–an aura that both radiated outwards and took him inwards to another world that said to him that he was not alone.
And this sense, this feeling of communion, would at moments overwhelm him. At such times he had the sensation that there was only one book in the universe, and that all books were simply portals into this greater ongoing work–an inexhaustible, beautiful world that was not imaginary but the world as it truly was, a book without beginning or end.”

Richard Flanagan (Longford, Tasmanië, 1961)

Booker Prize voor Hilary Mantel

Booker Prize voor Hilary Mantel


De Britse schrijfster Hilary Mantel heeft dinsdag voor de tweede keer de literaire Booker Prize gewonnen. Zij krijgt de prijs voor Bring Up the Bodies.Hilary Mary Mantel werd op 6 juli 1952 als Hilary Mary Thompson in Glossop, Derbyshire, geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Hilary Mantel op dit blog.


Uit: Bring Up the Bodies

“His children are falling from the sky. He watches from horse-back, acres of England stretching behind him; they drop, gilt-winged, each with a blood-filled gaze. Grace Cromwell hovers in thin air. She is silent when she takes her prey, silent as she glides to his fist. But the sounds she makes then, the rustle of feathers and the creak, the sigh and riffle of pinion, the small cluck-cluck from her throat, these are sounds of recognition, intimate, daughterly, almost disapproving. Her breast is gore-streaked and flesh clings to her claws.

Later, Henry will say, ‘Your girls flew well today’. The hawk Anne Cromwell bounces on the glove of Rafe Sadler, who rides by the king in easy conversation. They are tired; the sun is declining, and they ride back to Wolf Hall with the reins slack on the necks of their mounts. Tomorrow his wife and two sisters will go out. These dead women, their bones long sunk in London clay, are now transmigrated. Weightless, they glide on the upper currents of the air. They pity no one. They answer to no one.

Their lives are simple. When they look down they see nothing but their prey, and the borrowed plumes of the hunters: they see a flittering, flinching universe, a universe filled with their dinner. All summer has been like this, a riot of dismemberment, fur and feather flying; the beating off and the whipping in of hounds, coddling of tired horses, the nursing, by the gentlemen, of contusions, sprains and blisters. And for a few days at least, the sun has shone on Henry. Sometime before noon, clouds scudded in from the west and rain fell in big scented drops; but the sun re-emerged with a scorching heat, and now the sky is so clear you can see into Heaven and spy on what the saints are doing.”


Hilary Mantel (Glossop, 6 juli 1952)

Booker Prize voor Howard Jacobson

Booker Prize voor Howard Jacobson


De Britse schrijver Howard Jacobson heeft dinsdag de Man Booker Prize 2010 gekregen voor zijn roman The Finkler Question. De uitreiking werd rechtstreeks uitgezonden door de omroep BBC. Aan de prijs is een geldbedrag verbonden van 50.000 pond (ruim 56.000 euro).


Howard Jacobson werd geboren op 25 augustus 1942 in Manchester. Hij is opgegroeid in Prestwich en werd opgeleid aan Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, alvorens Engels te gaan studeren op Downing College, Cambridge. Hij doceerde gedurende drie jaar aan de Universiteit van Sydney voordat hij terugkeerde naar Engeland om les te geven aan Selwyn College in Cambridge.

Zijn fictie, met name de vijf romans die hij heeft gepubliceerd sinds 1998, wordt vooral gekenmerkt door een discursieve en humoristische stijl. Terugkerende onderwerpen in zijn werk zijn man-vrouw verhoudingen en de Joodse ervaring in Groot-Brittannië in de midden-tot laat-20e eeuw. Jacobson is wel vergeleken met vooraanstaande Joods-Amerikaanse schrijvers als Philip Roth. 

Zijn roman The Mighty Walzer uit 1999 over een tiener tafeltenniskampioen, won de Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. Hij speelt in het Manchester van de jaren 1950 en Jacobson, zelf als tiener een ping pong fan, geeft toe dat er meer dan een autobiografisch element in zit. Zijn romans Who’s Sorry Now uit 2002  en Kalooki Nights uit 2006 kwamen al eerder op de long list van de Man Booker Prize. Jacobson werkte ook als columnist voor The Independent en voor de televisie. Twee tv-programma’s waren Channel 4’s Howard Jacobson Takes on the Turner uit 2000 Why the Novel Matters uit 2002.


Uit: The Finkler Question


„He should have seen it coming.

His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one.

He was a man who saw things coming. Not shadowy premonitions before and after sleep, but real and present dangers in the daylit world. Lamp posts and trees reared up at him, splintering his shins. Speeding cars lost control and rode on to the footpath leaving him lying in a pile of torn tissue and mangled bones. Sharp objects dropped from scaffolding and pierced his skull.

Women worst of all. When a woman of the sort Julian Treslove found beautiful crossed his path it wasn’t his body that took the force but his mind. She shattered his calm.

True, he had no calm, but she shattered whatever calm there was to look forward to in the future. She was the future.

People who see what’s coming have faulty chronology, that is all. Treslove’s clocks were all wrong. He no sooner saw the woman than he saw the aftermath of her — his marriage proposal and her acceptance, the home they would set up together, the drawn rich silk curtains leaking purple light, the bed sheets billowing like clouds, the wisp of aromatic smoke winding from the chimney — only for every wrack of it — its lattice of crimson roof tiles, its gables and dormer windows, his happiness, his future — to come crashing down on him in the moment of her walking past.

She didn’t leave him for another man, or tell him she was sick of him and of their life together, she passed away in a perfected dream of tragic love — consumptive, wet-eyelashed, and as often as not singing her goodbyes to him in phrases borrowed from popular Italian opera.

There was no child. Children spoilt the story.

Between the rearing lamp posts and the falling masonry he would sometimes catch himself rehearsing his last words to her — also as often as not borrowed from the popular Italian operas — as though time had concertinaed, his heart had smashed, and she was dying even before he had met her.

There was something exquisite to Treslove in the presentiment of a woman he loved expiring in his arms. On occasions he died in hers, but her dying in his was better. It was how he knew he was in love: no presentiment of her expiry, no proposal.

That was the poetry of his life. In reality it had all been women accusing him of stifling their creativity and walking out on him.“


Howard Jacobson (Manchester, 25 augustus 1942)