New Dutch Writing: 4 brand new Dutch novels available in English

English translations of four Dutch books are being released in the first few weeks of 2021.

Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen (translated by Eileen J. Stevens and Anna Asbury) is on sale now.

Poetry collection How The First Sparks Became Visible by Simone Atangana Bekono (translated by David Colmer) will be published on January 21 and can already be ordered online.

The Limits of My Language: On Depression by Eva Meijer (translated by Antoinette Fawcett) is due a week later, and can already be pre-ordered. It is Eva Meijer's third English translation is less than a year (following Animal Languages and Bird Cottage).

In the first week of February 2021 a Dutch children's book will be released in English: Talking to Alaska by Anna Woltz (translation by Laura Watkinson).

New Dutch Writing, double up on Dutch books

New Dutch Writing campaign in the UK and Ireland

The large number of English translation of Dutch novels being released in the UK and Ireland is the result of a two year campaign by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Since 2019 the foundation has been actively promoting Dutch authors in the UK. The New Dutch Writing campaign also celebrates the important work literary translators are doing to make Dutch literature available to English language readers. Throughout the campaign, authors and translators often share the stage at book festivals and other literary fairs in the UK.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, many of these performances have been online. This has had pros and cons. A definite pro is that audiences of all over the world can now be reached by the authors and their translators, giving book lovers in English speaking countries around the world the opportunity to hear the authors and translators speak and ask them questions via online Q&As.

2020 was a good year for translated Dutch literature

BBC Open Book noted that 2020 was “a standout year for Dutch literature”. Not just because more than a dozen Dutch books had been released in English, but also because sales had gone up and, last but not least, because for the first time ever the International Booker Prize had been awarded to a Dutch author, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, and the translator of the winning book The Discomfort of Evening, Michele Hutchison.

Fortunately, The Dutch Foundation for Literature has decided to continue the New Dutch Writing campaign into 2021.

Many more translated Dutch books to be published this year

Between February and August 2021, ten more translated Dutch books are due to be released in the UK. These include Shocked Earth by Saskia Goldschmidt, Second Thoughts by Lynn Berger, The Just by Jan Brokken, Falling Is Like Flying by Manon Uphoff, and many more. Keep an eye out for new releases via newdutchwriting.co.uk.

Contact the Dutch Embassy in the UK

To get in touch with a Cultural Attaché at the Dutch Embassy in the UK, please send an email to lon-ppc@minbuza.nl.