High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Vondel Translation Prize to Michele Hutchison

Vondel Translation Prize to Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison has been awarded the Vondel Translation Prize 2019 for Stage Four, her English translation of Sander Kollaard’s Stadium IV (Van Oorschot), published by the American publishing house Amazon Crossing. The prize will be presented in London on 12 February, 2020.

The Vondel Translation Prize is a biennial award of € 5,000 for the best book translation into English of a Dutch literary or cultural-historical work. Named after the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the 17th century, Joost van den Vondel, the prize was first awarded in 1996 by the British Society of Authors and is funded by the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

The jury was made up of multi-award-winning literary translator David Colmer, the British poet, critic, translator and teacher of creative writing, Jane Draycott, and the novelist, artist and former lecturer at Amsterdam’s Institute for Translation Science, Anthony Paul.

The jury praised Hutchison for ‘her consistent alertness to tone and phrasing’ and commended her for achieving ‘a translation of fine insight and poetic attentiveness’ by ‘capturing Kollaard’s portrait of a marriage with an elegance and sensitivity which seem a perfect match for the novel’s psychological delicacy and sense of scene.’

Runner up

An especially honourable mention went to David Doherty for his translation of Peter Terrin’s Monte Carlo, released in English under the same title by the British publisher MacLehose Press. In the words of the jury: ‘Doherty shows himself more than capable of entering into the distinctive and all-important spirit of this highly concentrated, sometimes lyrical novel, achieving the translational feat of replicating the author’s gripping and intellectually complex achievement.’

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison was born in Solihull and studied at the universities of East Anglia, Lyon and Cambridge. She lives and works in Amsterdam since 2004 and has (so far) translated more than 35 books in a range of genres. In March this year Faber and Faber will release The Discomfort of Evening, her translation of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s De avond is ongemak.

Hutchison is currently working on Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s magnum opus Grand Hotel Europa for Fourth Estate (UK) and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (NY).

Previous winners of the prize include David McKay (War and Turpentine, Stefan Hertmans), Laura Watkinson (The Letter for the King, Tonke Dragt), Donald Gardner (In Those Days, poems of Remco Campert), David Colmer (The Misfortunates, Dimitri Verhulst) and Paul Vincent (My Little War, Louis Paul Boon).

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