LONDON (Reuters) - Dutch author Gerbrand Bakker has won the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize awarded by Britain’s Booktrust charity for “The Detour”, a tale of infidelity, exile and isolation.
Bakker will share the 10,000 pound ($15,200) prize with translator David Colmer for the story of Emilie, a translation professor and Emily Dickinson scholar, who retreats from her life in the Netherlands to an isolated farmhouse in Wales following an affair with a student.
“Gerbrand Bakker’s tale of a Dutchwoman who goes missing from her own troubled life and seeks refuge in rural Wales combines mesmeric storytelling with an uncanny sense of place, and an atmosphere of brooding, irresistible menace,” prize judge and Independent newspaper literary editor Boyd Tonkin said.
Bakker led a shortlist which included Man Booker International Prize-winner Ismail Kadare from Albania, Croatian author Daša Drndić, Chris Barnard from South Africa and Enrique Vila-Matas from Spain.
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is awarded annually to the best work of contemporary fiction by a living author which was translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2012.
The prize acknowledges the writer and translator equally, recognizing the importance of the translator’s ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.
Booktrust is an independent British reading and writing charity.
Previous winners of the prize include Milan Kundera and Anthea Bell. The 2012 winner was Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld for “Blooms of Darkness”, translated from Hebrew by Jeffrey M Green.
Reporting by Paul Casciato; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky