One man and his dog win prestigious Dutch literature prize


Sander Kollaard has won the prestigious Libris prize for literature 2020, the Libris organisation for independent book sellers has announced.

Outsider Kollaard’s Uit het leven van een hond (From the life of a dog) left behind such established shortlisted favourites as Manon Ophof and Oek de Jong.

The book describes 24 hours in the life of fifty-something ICU nurse Henk and his dog. Nothing much happens on that particular Saturday except that the dog turns out to be ill and may die soon, a realisation that permeates the day and inspires Henk to make the most of what life has to offer.

‘Kollaard chats to the reader, gezellig, almost as if he’s joining them in a cup of tea. But we soon find there is more to this confidential tone, those light-hearted sentences,’ the jury said.

Kollaard, who will receive €50,000, said many people had reacted to the positive tone of the book. ‘It just came because that is how I felt myself at the time of writing. I felt a need to find the lighter side, the joy in life. This is a time of sarcasm and lies, I was simply fed up with that,’ Kollaard told broadcaster NOS.

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