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The Hague literary awards to Mischa Andriessen, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and Erna Sassen

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - Winternachten internationaal literatuurfestival Den Haag 2017 - foto Reinier Zwinkels
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - Winternachten internationaal literatuurfestival Den Haag 2017 - foto Reinier Zwinkels

The Hague Literary Prizes will be presented on 23 January 2022 by the alderman for Culture, Robert van Asten, during the Winternachten festival. The Literature Museum organises the awarding and presentation of the The Hague Literary Prizes. Earlier it was announced that Peter Verhelst will receive the important Constantijn Huygens Prize for his oeuvre.

In the radio programme Kunststof, the winners of three important The Hague literature prizes were announced. The Jan Campert Prize 2021 goes to Mischa Andriessen (1970) for Het drogsyndicaat. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (1991) is awarded the F. Bordewijk Prize 2021 for the novel Mijn lieve gunsteling. Erna Sassen (1961) has been awarded the biennial Nienke van Hichtum Prize for Zonder titel (Untitled).

The Hague Literature Prizes will be presented on 23 January 2022 by Robert van Asten, alderman for culture, during the Winternachten international literature festival. The Literature Museum organises the awarding and presentation of the The Hague Literary Awards.

The jury writes about the prize-winning books:

Mischa Andriessen (1970) receives the Jan Campert Prize 2021 for Het drogsyndicaat (Sophist Syndicate). Andriessen writes in a language idiom entirely his own and manages to evoke a world that simultaneously illuminates history and the present. He creates a cruel, dark, linguistic tableau, which he imbues with emotionality by means of sparse streaks of light.

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (1991) is awarded the F. Bordewijk Prize 2021 for the novel Mijn lieve gunsteling (My Dear Favorite). Right from the start of Mijn lieve gunsteling, the reader is swept along to the breathless rhythm of what is no less than an account of a searing obsession, the obsession of a veterinarian, himself damaged, for a damaged 14-year-old boy-girl, the character we already knew from Rijneveld's debut novel, but now the perspective is tilted. Everything in this novel is overwhelming, but especially the plastic language that makes the vet's obsession physically palpable and gives the reader who keeps reading, no, who is forced to keep reading, the feeling of being made an accomplice when boundaries are inevitably crossed. Only great writers like Rijneveld are capable of this.

Erna Sassen (1961) was awarded the Nienke van Hichtum Prize 2021 for Zonder titel (Untitled). Sassen has developed into a writer who knows how to capture the voice of an adolescent like no other. In raw and confrontational, but at the same time moving language, she puts herself in the shoes of pre-vocational students, a group that is underrepresented in the more literary books for the fifteen to eighteen age group. With great humour, she explains their view of the world. Tears of laughter and tears of emotion follow one another in this boisterous and amazingly well-written book for young people.

It was announced earlier that the entire oeuvre of Peter Verhelst (1962) has been awarded the Constantijn Huygens Prize 2021. The first-mentioned prizes carry an amount of € 6,000, the Huygens Prize € 12,000. The jury consisted of: Erica van Boven, Jeroen Dera, Rashif El Kaoui, Nisrine Mbarki, Aad Meinderts (chairman), Sanne Parlevliet, Jan de Roder, Jeannette Smit and Sarah Vankersschaever.


About the Jan Campert Foundation
The Jan Campert-Stichting was founded on 18 August 1947 and is named after the poet Jan Campert, who lived in The Hague for a long time and wrote the most famous wartime resistance poem, De achttien dooden (The 18 Dead). Initially, the foundation was set up 'to permanently commemorate the struggle of Dutch authors in the years 1940-1945 against the German occupation'. Later the goal was formulated more generally: the Jan Campert-Stichting promotes Dutch literature. What has remained of the original resistance movement is a certain fondness for wayward poets and writers who strive for a certain creative freedom and who do not necessarily appear on best-seller lists. By awarding the annual The Hague Literary Awards, the foundation contributes to public recognition and greater awareness of important literary work. The foundation is funded by the Municipality of The Hague.
The secretariat of the Jan Campert Foundation and the organisation of the prize-giving ceremony are housed at The Hague-based Literature Museum.

Posted on: Monday 1 November 2021