26 August 2020
OSL would like to congratulate Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, who was awarded the 2020 International Booker Prize for their debut novel The Discomfort of Evening (transl. Michele Hutchison). They are the first Dutch author, and the youngest author ever to receive this prestigious award.
“There’s something both in the intensity of that creative vision and that perspective of a child, but also the translation, that allows you into that world so immediately and so completely. It’s not a book that you can sit back from. [The Discomfort of Evening] does deal with some very difficult aspects of life – the sudden death of a brother, a family grieving, some of the more unyielding aspects of a religious upbringing, the quite stark backdrop of a Dutch dairy farm, which can be quite a tough place for a child. And yet, there’s something about the inquisitive gaze, that poetic perspective on those things, the ability to see in the everyday something remarkable, extraordinary. Even though it is a book that takes you through some difficult and unsettling cases, it has that ability to make the world new. And I think that is something, especially in our distracted and unsettled moment, to find fiction that has the ability to absolutely root you where you are in the irreducible truth of another life.” (Ted Hodgkinson, chair of the International Booker’s judges, The Guardian, 26 August 2020)
More information, interviews with the author and translator, and readings from The Discomfort of Evening can be found on the International Booker Prize website.