International Booker Prize: Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld becomes youngest ever to win award

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29-year-old Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld was awarded the International Booker Prize for 2020 for his debut novel ‘The Discomfort of Evening.’ In the process, he became the youngest ever writer to win the prestigious award.

Published by Faber & Faber, the novel has been translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison.

The novel is about a 10-year-old girl Jas, who lives in the rural Netherlands. She is upset with her brother for not taking her along for an ice skating trip and makes a perverse plea to God. Unfortunately, her brother never returns from the trip, plunging the entire family into grief. The novel is a riveting case study of grief.

The judges panel was chaired by Ted Hodgkinson and included Lucie Campos, Jeet Thayil, Jennifer Croft, and Valeria Luiselli.

Ted Hodgkinson in a statement said that The Discomfort of Evening is a “tender and visceral evocation of a childhood caught between shame and salvation, and a deeply deserving winner.”

The shortlist for the prestigious award consisted of the following six books:

According to its website, The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single book, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The vital work of translators is celebrated, with the prize money divided equally between the author and translator.

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