International Booker 2020: Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translator Michele Hutchison win for The Discomfort of Evening

The Discomfort of Evening, revolves around 10-year-old Jas, who 'has a unique way of experiencing her universe'. The synopsis for the book notes that 'when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies — unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all'.

FP Staff August 26, 2020 23:23:46 IST
International Booker 2020: Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translator Michele Hutchison win for The Discomfort of Evening

The 2020 International Booker Prize was announced on 26 August with author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld bagging the prestigious literary honour for The Discomfort of Evening (2018).

The Discomfort of Evening, revolves around 10-year-old Jas, who "has a unique way of experiencing her universe". The synopsis for the book notes that "when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies — unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all". The book has been translated by Michele Hutchison from the original Dutch into English. With this win, Rijneveld and Hutchison share the prize purse of £50,000.

Announcing Rijneveld and Hutchison as the winners of the International Booker Prize in an online event hosted as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, chair of the judges Ted Hodgkinson said, "Combining a disarming new sensibility with a translation of singular sensitivity, The Discomfort of Evening is a tender and visceral evocation of a childhood caught between shame and salvation, and a deeply deserving winner of The 2020 International Booker Prize.”

Among the novels shortlisted for the literary award were Iranian author Shokoofeh Azar's The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, Spanish-Argentinian writer Gabriela Cabezón's The Adventures of China Iron,  German author Daniel Kehlmann's Tyll, Spanish-Mexican novelist Fernanda Melchor's Hurricane Season, Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa's The Memory Police and Dutch writer Rijneveld's The Discomfort of Evening.

Also read — Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police is a terrifying chronicle of a totalitarian regime, examining remembrance as protest

Awarded each year to books translated into English and published in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the International Booker Prize aims to promote works of fiction and translators from across the globe in an attempt to encourage publishing and reading of world literature.

The 2020 shortlist chosen by a panel of five judges from 124 entries features works translated from five languages that examine humanity's need to understand the world through our shared narratives, histories, origins, traumas and grief.

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