D. Hooijer is the second woman to win the award for her short story collection.
7 May 2008
THE NETHERLANDS – The 2008 Libris Literature Prize has been awarded to the writer D. Hooijer for her short story collection The Daily Grind is a Predator. This is the first time the prize, worth EUR 50,000, has been awarded for a short story collection, and only the second time it has been won by a woman – in 1994 it was won by Frida Vogels.
Up until now, D. Hooijer has been a relatively unknown writer.
She debuted in 2001 with another collection of short stories Jar and Blade. Her new collection was chosen from a shortlist of six taken from a long list of 171 works of “original Dutch prose” published in 2007.
On hearing she had won, she was taken aback. “I thought it was wonderful just to be nominated,” she said on receiving the award. “To be among the final six was unbelievable.”
D. Hooijer is a pseudonym for writer Kitty Ruys. Her distinctive writing style is characterised by short, disjointed sentences, and a disregard for literary convention.
The jury commented that, “In her stories she has managed to strike a delicate balance between story and narrative style, between content and form. Hooijer succeeds in making her stories surprising, moving and humorous.”
Although she won the prize as an outsider and this is only her third publication as a prose writer, she has written poetry all her life.
Her poetry is published under the name Milly Wiers. “I was always rather a rejected poet,” she commented in a television interview. “It’s very hard to get poetry published, but I didn’t want to stop. I think poetry is wonderful. But after about 30 years, I eventually gave up. One rainy Sunday in summer, I started writing short stories. And it was tough. Stories are difficult too.”
[MORE Radio Netherlands / Expatica]