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Author Annelies Verbeke threatens to give up book trade after ‘mis…

‘Trains and rooms’, the most recent collection of short stories by author Annelies Verbeke, did not make the long list for the Boekenbon Literatuurprijs. “No, I’m not going to wear that with dignity,” the writer responds on Facebook.

Established names such as Rob Van Essen, AFTh. van der Heijden, and young wolves such as Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and Tobi Lakmaker, but Annelies Verbeke is missing this year. The author has a hard time digesting that.

‘After two previous titles on the ECI shortlist (precursor of the Boekenbon Literatuurprijs), interwoven with 4300 years of literary history and 18 unanimously favorable reviews for Treinen en Rooms, the book was not even included on the longlist of the Boekenbon Literatuurprijs 2021’, Verbeke responds on Facebook. Her short story collections Hallelujah on Thirty days were nominated for the literary prize in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

‘It is also personal,’ continues Verbeke. The other major prize for Dutch literature, the Libris literature prize, only accepts continuous stories. As a result, the Ghent writer, who works according to the principle of short story collections, automatically falls by the wayside. ‘I think after twenty years I should finally listen to the call (or the instruction) to look for a towel and a ring’, writes Verbeke. In the coming years she says she wants to focus on teaching and writing theater texts.

Verbeke concludes by citing praise from the eighteen positive reviews she received for ‘Trains and rooms’, including the review of The standard. ‘Verbeke has been calling for years in the desert of letters that collections of short stories deserve more attention, and now proves once again why’, the reviewer of this newspaper wrote in the caption. the four star review.

In a later comment, Verbeke clarifies that she finds prices ‘neither beatific nor extremely meaningful’. ‘But prices linked to a large amount make a world of difference for authors’, she argues.

50,000 euros prize money

On Thursday 7 October, the jury will announce the shortlist for the Boekenbon Literatuurprijs. The five best books will compete for the main prize, which will be awarded on Thursday 11 November. The winning author will receive 50,000 euros in prize money. Last year it was Oek de Jong, who convinced the jury with his Black Barn.

About the compilation of the current long list, jury chairman Winnie Sorgdrager said in an accompanying press release that ‘it was a special year’, ‘in which the jury was confronted on several points with the effects of the pandemic’. The jury judged 30 more titles than the year before. In addition, they had to hold a large part of the meetings digitally. ‘That was not optimal’, it sounds.

The longlist was compiled by Winnie Sorgdrager, Jozefien Van Beek, Jan Dertaelen, Miriam Piters, Ronnie Terpstra, Dominique van Varsseveld and Jeroen Vulings.

These 15 titles made the longlist:

Merijn de Boer – The togetherness group

Rob van Essen – A man with good shoes

Esther Gerritsen – The return

Wessel te Gussinklo – On the way to the Hartz

Marjolijn van Heemstra – No one is in a hurry in light years

AFTh. Van der Heijden – Stem forks

Raoul de Jong – Jaguarman

Tobi Lakmaker – The history of my sexuality

Delphine Lecompte – Patron of the Outcasts

Gilles van der Loo – Village

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld – My dear favorite

Gaea Schoeters – TROPHIES

Chris De Stoop – The Book of Daniel

Peter Terrin – All the blue

Robbert Welagen – window, key

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