At the end of August, Kaatje Vermeire, Ingrid Godon and Pieter Gaudesaboos will accompany the Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) to the Beijing International Book Fair. They will present the Chinese translations of their books to the Chinese press, give workshops to children and master classes to students, and give lectures in two bookshops in the city.
The annual London Book Fair took place from Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 April. It is one of the biggest professional book fairs, where some 1,500 stand holders and publishers meet to present titles and trade translation rights. True to form, the Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) was also present. Even though the international book trade is experiencing turbulent times and cuts at publishing houses are often first reflected in a reduction in the number of translated titles, the more than 60 meetings the FLF had at the fair show that the interest in Flemish literature is still growing.
This year the French literary prize ‘Prix Aujourd’hui’ goes to David Van Reybrouck for the French translation of ‘Congo. Een geschiedenis’ (Congo. A History). The prize, awarded for the first time in 1962 to a political or historical work, was presented on Wednesday 10 April in the city hall of the Parisian 6th arrondissement. David Van Reybrouck has already received prestigious prizes as the AKO Literatuurprijs and the Libris Geschiedenis Prijs for this book in the Low Countries. The book has been awarded several prizes in Germany as well.
Tom Lanoye, author of novels as ‘Speechless’ and ‘The Third Marriage’, has been nominated for the Prix Jean Monnet de Littérature Européenne. He has been selected together with authors as Armin Maalouf and Julian Barnes. Since 1995 the prize, awarded by the Conseil Générale de la Charente, crowns a European author whose work has been written in or has been translated into French. The jury consists of writers, critics and journalists.
Publishers Oogachtend recently concluded a deal with the French publishing house Casterman to introduce two graphic novels by Maarten Vande Wiele, ‘Paris’ and ‘Monsieur Bermutier’, to the French market.
In April, graphic artist Herr Seele, known for his comics character Cowboy Henk, will have the chance of a few days painting in the studio of painter Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), in Aix-en-Provence.
The Flemish Literature Fund (FLF), and Flemish children’s and youth books in general, can look back on a successful Bologna Book Fair. Recent award-winning books are gaining a new lease of life internationally, work by young illustrators has been much admired and a whole lot of translations have been announced. The Flemish publishers’ stand, which the FLF was part of, was busier than ever. Not only was there a great deal of coming and going with all the Flemings’ appointments with international publishers, but a striking number of Flemish authors and illustrators had also come to experience the fair first hand.
Kristien Dieltiens has won the Woutertje Pieterse Prize 2013 for ‘Kelderkind’ [Cellar Child]. The sum of 15,000 euros accompanies the Woutertje Pieterse Prize. This is the twenty-sixth time the award for children's and youth books has been presented. ‘Kelderkind’ is published by Uitgeverij De Eenhoorn.
On Saturday 2 March 2013 Flemish Minister of Culture Joke Schauvliege presented writer Els Beerten with the 2011-2012 Flemish Community Award for Youth Literature. The jury honoured the youth author because she broke through the cocoon of youth literature with her novel ‘Allemaal willen we de hemel’ [We All Want Heaven]. The ceremony, held at the Kopergietery children and youth theatre in Ghent, was paired with the start of the 2013 Week of the Youth Book, an organisation of the Stichting Lezen (The Reading Foundation).
From 31 January to 3 February, the Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) was present at the international comic festival in Angoulême for the seventh time, promoting Flemish graphic novels. This year, the festival was celebrating its 40th edition, with a major overview exhibition on the work of Uderzo, the spiritual father of Asterix and Obelix, and withSouth Koreaas a guest country. But the real talk of the town was, without doubt, the exhibition ‘La Boîte à Gand,’ an FLF initiative, in collaboration with the Flemish Representation in Paris and Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT).
Translator Christiane Kuby has been awarded the Else Otten Übersetzerpreis 2012 for her translation of ‘Godenslaap’ (Divine Sleep) by Erwin Mortier. The prize was presented to her on Wednesday 23 January in Berlin. ‘Götterschlaf’ was published in 2010 by publishers DuMont in Cologne.
Flanders is planning to cause fireworks again during the international comic festival in Angoulême, which takes place between 30 January and 3 February. The Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) will be distributing the free magazine Bangarang and presenting the already much-discussed exhibition, La Boîte à Gand. Brecht Evens, the internationally acclaimed author of such works as, ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’ [The Wrong Place] and ‘De liefhebbers’ [The Making Of], is the curator. He is introducing four compagnons de route, with whom he studied illustration at the Saint Lucas Art School in Ghent. A few months ago, Benoît Mouchart, Angoulême’s artistic director, came to Ghent especially to meet the five. ‘I can see now that it will be the most exceptional exhibition at Angoulême 2013,’ he said. And not only the festival itself but also the Flemish and French press are already showing enthusiasm.
Young talent Korneel Detailleur will accompany the Flemish Literature Fund (FLF)to the Bologna Children's Book Fair, which takes place from 25 to 28 March 2013. At the Fair, he will be guided by 'mentor' Goele Dewanckel.
During 'bd Boum', the 29th Blois comics festival in France, the Association des Critiques et des journalistes de Bande Dessinée announced the shortlist of 5 graphic novels for the 'Grand Prix de la Critique 2013'. One of the nominated books is the French edition of Judith Vanistendael's 'When David Lost his Voice', translated by Hélène Robbe and published by Le Lombard.
The Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) presents 'La Boîte à Gand', an exhibition of young comic strip talents during the annual comic strip festival of Angoulême. The festival takes place from Thursday 31 January until Sunday 3 February 2013. Young comic artist Brecht Evens was invited to act as curator of this exhibition. He was given carte blanche and chose to set up a dialogue with comic artists of his own generation: Brecht Vandenbroucke, Lotte Vandewalle, Sarah Yu Zeebroek and Hannelore Van Dijck.
David Van Reybrouck has received the prestigious French Prix Médicis for essay. The 41-year-old writer was awarded the prize for his book 'Congo, une histoire' (Actes Sud), the French edition of 'Congo, een geschiedenis' (De Bezige Bij), translated into French by Isabelle Rosselin. 'Congo' already won him the Libris Geschiedenisprijs, the J. Greshoffprijs and the AKO Literatuurprijs in 2010.
From 14 till 19 January 2013, Flanders House London and the Netherlands Embassy in the United Kingdom presented 'High Impact', six top writers from the Low Countries on tour to six cities for six nights of readings and debates to showcase the best 'High Impact' literature from Flanders and the Netherlands in English translation. The tour ended with a final gala gathering in London of authors from both the UK and the Low Countries. Authors that took part in the tour were Lieve Joris, Herman Koch, Ramsey Nasr, Peter Terrin, Chika Unigwe and Judith Vanistendael. Geert Mak attended the London gathering.
Starting 8 February with Lieve Joris’s ‘UK Safari’ blog, every day for a week we are publishing our Low Countries authors’ blogs and impressions of the High Impact Tour on the High Impact website.
'Compota de manzana', the Spanish translation of 'Appelmoes' by Klaas Verplancke, has been granted the award 'Best picture book of 2012' by the Madrid Booksellers' Association.
Chika Unigwe, author of 'On Black Sisters' Street' has emerged winner of this year's NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, carting away the coveted prize of $100,000.
On Monday 29 October 2012, Flemish writer Peter Terrin was awarded the prestigious AKO Literature Prize for his novel 'Post Mortem'. The jury called the book "a masterly reflection on literature". Peter Terrin had twice been nominated for the prize before, but third time lucky. The presentation of the prize took place in the Central Library of The Hague and the winner was announced in 'Nieuwsuur', a live television programme.
This year, the Flemish Literature Fund's stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair was again flooded with foreign publishers looking for new titles fromFlanders. The interest was highly diverse in terms of genre. The Flemish Literature Fund's stand was part of the collective Flemish stand, organised by the the Association of Flemish Publishers (VUV) and Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT).
After thorough deliberation the jury with chairman Heinz Eickmans unanimously has awarded the Else Otten Übersetzerpreis 2012 to Christiane Kuby for her translation of 'Godenslaap' by Erwin Mortier. The German translation 'Götterschlaf' appeared in 2010 by publishers DuMont in Cologne.
The new issue of 'News & Views' was put online.
Sunday morning 7 October 2012 Ivo Michiels passed away in Le Barroux in the Vaucluse in France, where he lived. On 8 January 2013 he would have celebrated his ninetieth birthday. Ivo Michiels will be buried on Wednesday 10 October 2012 in Le Barroux.
The German magazine 'Damals. Das Magasin für Geschichte' has chosen 'Congo' by David Van Reybrouck as book of the year 2012.
Film producer Els Vandevorst, N279 Entertainment, has bought the film rights to 'De engelenmaker' [The Angel Maker]. The film will be directed by Christophe Van Rompaey, known for his multi-award-winning 'Aanrijding in Moscou' (2008, A Private View) and 'Lena' (2011), also produced by Vandevorst. Els Vandevorst has filmed several books, including the successful 'Oorlogswinter' [Winter in Wartime], 'Boven is het stil' [The Twin] (in post-production) and 'Nono, het Zigzagkind' [Nono, the ZigZag Kid], based on the David Grossman novel, which premieres on the opening evening of the Dutch Film Festival 2012.
Next year the wordless running gag Plunk will be published in the Chinese magazine for the young 'Good Children Pictorial'. This magazine is spread on a large scale in one of the northern provinces of China. The print run is 180,000 copies. Plunk will get a prominent place on the back cover.
In 2012 Louis Paul Boon, who died in 1979, would have had his 100th birthday. This anniversary prompted various festive commemorations and exhibitions in Flanders. In Germany, independent publishers Alexander Verlag took German radio station WDR3's statement that Louis Paul Boon was an author belonging to the top of European world literature deserving rediscovery, to heart.
"Flemish fiction and children's and youth literature have great potential in China", says Koen Van Bockstal, director of the Flemish Literature Fund (FLF), following the Beijing Book Fair (BIBF), where the FLF had a stand for the second time. "We can advise publishers to seriously consider exploring the Chinese market in the coming years. Flemish quality and creativity have been making a great impression here".
The 27th Helsinki Comics Festival takes place on the 7th - 9th of September 2012 at Lasipalatsi Square, Kiasma and nearby venues in Central Helsinki. The theme this year is "9 - Comics as an art form", and the focus country is Belgium.
The Flemish Literature Fund (FLF) will soon be paying its second visit to the Beijing International Book Fair, the most important Chinese book fair. Between August 29th and September 2nd three FLF employees will be promoting Flemish literature to the Chinese publishing world.
After a successful attendance at the Beijing Book Fair under the wing of guest country the Netherlands last year, the Flemish Literature Fund will be in China again this year. The Beijing Book Fair will take place from 29 August to 2 September 2012.
In May, BBC Radio Scotland broadcast a translation of 'Taalmachine' [Language Machine], a poem by Geert van Istendael, which the Flemish Literature Fund commissioned Willem Groenewegen to produce years ago for Poetry International Web.