Anjet Daanje has won the Libris prize, the most prestigious award for Dutch literature, for her novel De lied van ooievaar en dromedaris (The Song of the Stork and the Dromedary).
It is the first time the Libris and the Boekenbon prize, the Netherlands’ two major literary awards, both worth €50,000 to the winner, have been won by the same book.
Daanje’s ambitious and highly complex novel spans three centuries and 11 chapters, each with a different narrator. She set the first section of the book in a Yorkshire village and drew heavily on Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights, for inspiration.
It was the overwhelming favourite of the six shortlisted novels for the prize and was the universal choice of the judging panel. Daanje was presented with a cheque at a gala dinner at the Felix Meritis venue in Amsterdam.
The chair of the judges, Beatrice de Graaf, described it as a ‘novel of international allure that crosses boundaries and genres. It is serious and playful, analytical yet romantic, and an ode to the imagination, you might even say an ode to literature itself.’
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