Saturday, June 23, 2012

Julian Barnes Awarded the European Literature Prize

Julian Barnes's novel Alsof het voorbij is (Atlas), translated from English by Ronald Vlek, has been selected as the winner of the European Literature Prize. The prize goes to both the author and the translator of the best European novel to appear in Dutch translation in 2011. The prize will be presented on Saturday 1 September during Manuscripta in Amsterdam.

The jury on The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and its Dutch translation by Ronald Vlek: The jury was composed of:
A novel that is as calm as it is disturbing, as melancholy as it is comical, a novel that can be read on several levels: as a personal outpouring, an account by a man wishing to clear his name, or an assault on the power of memories. A novel that makes the reader doubt everything he thinks he knows about himself. Translator Ronald Vlek not only manages to transform the narrators language into perfect, measured Dutch, he is remarkably successful in capturing Barnes undertone. He meticulously transforms the restrained, sometimes evasive sentences, the lucid images and carefully chosen words into Dutch without ever allowing them to lose any of their connotations
The jury was composed of:
* Frans Timmermans, chairman; member of the Lower House, former Secretary of State for European Affairs
* Joost de Vries; writer and literary critic for De Groene Amsterdammer
* Ton Naaijkens; professor of translation studies, Utrecht University
* Herm Pol; Athenaeum Booksellers, Amsterdam
* Monique van Oosterhout; Van Gennep Booksellers, Rotterdam
The longlist was chosen by eleven independent bookshops. The professional jury then selected the shortlist and the winner.
The European Literature Prize is an initiative of the Academic-Cultural Centre SPUI25, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer and Athenaeum Booksellers.

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Julian Barnes -- A Life with Books

Julian Barnes has written a pamphlet titled A Life with Books, an essay specially commissioned for Independent Booksellers Week. The pamphlet will be supplied exclusively to independent bookshops with all proceeds to benefit Freedom from Torture.

In the essay, Julian Barnes writes about his early awareness of books and about his obsessive book-collecting and time spent in second-hand bookshops around the country. He ends by praising the physical book and expressing the confident hope that it will survive.

A Life with Books is published as a pamphlet, with cover art by Suzanne Dean, the renowned designer responsible for the cover of Julian Barnes’ Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending.

Publication date is set for 28th June 2012. Please support your local booksellers during Independent Booksellerss Week.