Libris Literature Prize for Sander Kollaard’s A Day in the Life of a Dog

Libris Literature Prize

Libris Literature Prize for Sander Kollaard’s A Day in the Life of a Dog

Article published on June 22, 2020

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Sander Kollaard’s Uit het leven van een hond (A Day in the Life of a Dog, Van Oorschot, 192 pp.) was awarded the most prestigious literary prize in the Netherlands, the Libris Literature Prize!

Libris Literature Prize

From the jury report: “The Libris Literature Prize 2020 goes to a tour de force, written by an accurate stylist who wrote a profound and moving novel about the lightness that makes life bearable.”

  • Read the full Libris Literature Prize jury report in English

Libris Literature Prize jury member Bo van Houwelingen: “The book is great in its simplicity […]. We have chosen a novel that makes the reader think about the value of a human life. A book with a positive image of humanity that has given us shocks of recognition, lessons in the art of living and genuine reading pleasure.”

2 Seas Agency handles translation rights worldwide on behalf of Dutch publisher Van Oorschot.

There is no other Dutch writer who can make life shine and sparkle the way Sander Kollaard does. — De Groene Amsterdammer

A rich book, full of marvellous phrases, metaphors and observations; at the same time it is all implicit, calm and small. That is what Kollaard is all about: showing greatness in the ordinary. Kollaard shows what literature can do. ***** NRC Handelsblad

A Day in the Life of a Dog takes place on a seemingly ordinary Saturday. Henk van Doorn, 56, ICU nurse, single, wakes up, has breakfast, walks the dog, goes to the supermarket. This day however will turn out to be anything but ordinary: Henk finds out his dog is ill. The animal will die, not today, nor tomorrow, but soon. A train of existential thoughts is set in motion: time only has one direction; we are vulnerable beings; and we live in elementary loneliness, no matter how much love we find.

Despite its tragic premise A Day in the Life of a Dog is an irresistibly life affirming book. Henk is able to transform the acute sense of mortality into a powerful carpe diem. At the end of the day we see the protagonist, in clairvoyant drunkenness, with his dog on the couch. What kind of day was this exactly? A cleansing experience? A catharsis? No, it was just a day in the life, time that has passed, a life that was lived.

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