Top literature prize awarded to Arnon Grunberg
Arnon Grunberg won the P.C. Hooft Prize for prose. The Literature Museum wants to present the prize to him in May. According to the jury, Grunberg has made an "immense contribution to Dutch literature." An amount of 60,000 euros is attached to the oeuvre prize.
Grunberg calls the P.C. Hooft Prize is a great honor and considers it "the best you can win as an author." That he receives the prize for narrative prose makes him extra happy. "That's the most important thing I've written as far as I'm concerned." He is grateful for the jury report, although he says he does not want to dwell on the praise for too long. "Then you also stay less sharp," says Grunberg.
The writer turned 50 this year. He won the prize for prose at a relatively young age. His first novel, Blauwe maandagen, was published in 1994 and received two awards. Grunberg wrote more award-winning books in the years that followed, such as Tirza (2006) and Moedervlekken (2016). In 2009 he won the Constantijn Huygens Prize for his oeuvre and the Frans Kellendonk Prize in 2010.
Grunberg is currently working on a dance project with poet Charlotte Van den Broeck. "I'm not a dancer myself. I'm even shy to dance. As a writer, I tend to forget the body." That is precisely why he decided to create a dance performance with Van den Broeck to step out of his comfort zone. As soon as the show starts at the end of February, he will begin working on a new novel.
The P.C. Hooft Prize has existed since 1947, the 300th anniversary of the death of poet and playwright Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581-1447). The jury for the prize consists of the chairman Agnes Andeweg, Rashid Novaire, Esther Op de Beek, Coen Peppelenbos, and Nina Polak. They unanimously agreed on the winner for 2022. According to them, Grunberg is curious and socially involved. The judges called his ambition, productivity, and intellectual strength "unmatched" in the report.
The prestigious P.C. Hooft Prize is awarded annually to Dutch writers, taking turns for a varying genre: narrative prose, contemplative prose, or poetry. Poet Alfred Schaffer received the prize for poetry in the previous edition. The jury called him "a poet who stands in the middle of this time without blowing along with fashion." In 2020 Maxim Februari received the prize for contemplative prose. In 2019, the now 101-year-old writer Marga Minco took the last P.C. Hooft Prize for prose. The jury stated that she had become the Dutch voice in European war literature.
Reporting by ANP.