The Vondel Prize has been won by David McKay for War and Turpentine, his English translation of Stefan Hertmans’ novel about World War I, Oorlog en terpentijn. The €5,000 prize will be awarded in London on 1 March 2018.
This year’s jury consisted of poet and critic Jayne Draycott and literary translators Donald Gardner and Laura Watkinson, who commended McKay’s sensitive style, expressing their confidence that the translation would bring this Flemish author to the wider readership he deserves.
War and Turpentine was published in 2016 by Harvill Secker in the UK, Pantheon Books in the US and Text in Australia, supported by Flanders Literature. David Doherty received an honourable mention for his translations of Marente de Moor’s De Nederlandse maagd (The Dutch Maiden) and Jaap Robben’s Birk (You Have Me to Love), both published by World Editions.
David McKay was born in the US and has lived in The Hague since 1997. Working with Ina Rilke, he recently put the finishing touches to the English translation of Multatuli’s classic Max Havelaar, to be published in 2018 by NYRB Classics. He is currently working on Stefan Hertmans’ De bekeerlinge.
The Vondel Translation Prize is a biannual prize for the best English translation of a Dutch literary or cultural historical work. The prize was founded by the British Society of Authors in 1996 and is financed by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Flanders Literature. Further information, including a list of past winners, appears here.