Dutch Caribbean Writer Astrid Roemer Wins Prestigious Dutch Literary Award

Astrid Roemer. Photo by In de Knipscheer:
Surinamese-Dutch writer Astrid Roemer has been awarded one of the most prestigious Dutch Literary Awards, the P.C. Hooft-prijs. Roemer, 68, will receive the prize and 60.000 euro in 2016. She is the first black writer to win the award.

Roemer won the P. C. Hooft Award for 2016, beating out the favorite, Arnon Grunberg, and becoming the first Caribbean author to win the award. According to the jury, Roemer's novels are a literary imagination of the history of Surinam, a history that is not very well known in the Netherlands outside of the topics of slavery and the December murders [committed during the military dictatorship in 1980] but is "inextricably intertwined with the history of our country...and thus, by way of Roemer's unique oeuvre, with our literature". The jury added, "political engagement and literary experiment go hand in hand with Roemer".

In the (trailer) video, 'The World Has Lost Face', director Cindy Kerseborn is on a quest to find Astrid Roemer, who shuns publicity for 15 years now.


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