David McKay wins 2017 Vondel Prize

20 November 2017

The Vondel Prize for Dutch Translation has been awarded to David McKay for War and Turpentine (Harvill Secker), translated from Oorlog en terpentijn by Stefan Hertmans. McKay will be awarded with the €5,000 prize on 1st March 2018 at The Society of Authors’ annual Translation Prizes ceremony at the British Library.

This year’s judges were poet and critic Jane Draycott, and literary translators Donald Gardner and Laura Watkinson. Commenting on David McKay’s winning novel, they said: ‘As a result of McKay’s beautiful translation, this Flemish author has reached the larger readership he deserves.’ They also praised the ‘meticulous and sensitive way in which David McKay has transposed into English this eloquent and urgent novel about the First World War’.

David Doherty was also commended for his translations of De Nederlandse maagd (The Dutch Maiden) by Marente de Moor and Birk (You Have Me to Love) by Jaap Robben, both published by World Editions.

The next Vondel Prize will run in 2019, and will be presented in 2020.

More about the award

The Vondel Prize was established in 1996 and is a biennial award for translation into English of a Dutch-language work of literature or cultural history. The prize is financed by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and Flanders Literature.

Previous winners of the prize include Laura Watkinson (The Letter for the King, Tonke Dragt), Donald Gardner (In Those Days, poems by Remco Campert), David Colmer (The Misfortunates, Dimitri Verhulst) and Paul Vincent (My Little War, Louis Paul Boon).