High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Tom Lanoye Wins the 2024 Dutch Literature Prize
© Arthur Los Fotografie
© Arthur Los Fotografie © Arthur Los Fotografie

Tom Lanoye Wins the 2024 Dutch Literature Prize

Flemish writer Tom Lanoye is awarded the Dutch Literature Prize. The prize is the most prestigious literary award in the Dutch language area and includes a sum of 60,000 euros. According to the jury, Lanoye’s writing has been a ‘linguistic virtuoso spectacle’ for forty years.

Tom Lanoye (b. 1958) writes novels and poems, as well as scenarios for theatre and columns. He is one of the most widely read and lauded authors in the Netherlands and Flanders, and a familiar face at all major European theatre festivals.

With his most recent novel De draaischijf (Prometheus, 2022), Lanoye touches on the Flemish intergenerational trauma of cultural collaboration during World War II, in both Antwerp and The Hague. His main theatrical works are Ten Oorlog, Mamma Medea, Bloed en Rozen and Koningin Lear, which are performed across Europe and beyond.

Just last weekend, another brand-new play of his premiered: Lady+Lord MacBeth, with the Dutch company Suburbia. His main novels are Kartonnen Dozen, Sprakeloos, Het derde huwelijk, Zuivering and De draaischijf.

Not only in theatre and novel art has Lanoye set literary beacons. Also as the first city poet (Antwerp) and satirical columnist, he has broadened the waters of Dutch literature with bold statements, social commitment and support for new and young talent.

The jury: 'He looks at that landscape with an open mind and continuously supports people with a diverse vision or origin, with special attention to the LGBTQ+ community and new and young talent. His social commitment goes hand in hand with an explicit intellectual commitment, as is clear in all his work.'

Tom Lanoye is the first Flemish author since 2012 (Leonard Nolens) to receive the Dutch Literature Prize. As an author, he ‘whirls through the Dutch-language literary and stage world in total freedom', the jury report states. 'At the same time, he questions precisely this questionable freedom of art in a time that demands a stance.'

Lanoye lives and works alternately in Antwerp and Cape Town.

The Dutch Literature Prize is awarded once every three years to an author writing in Dutch. The prize can be awarded for an entire body of work in the genres of poetry, narrative prose or drama. In addition to the honour, Lanoye will receive an amount of 60,000 euros.

Source: Dutch Language Union

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