Bart Moeyaert, the Flemish author and translator of youth literature, poet and novel writer, has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2019 for all of his literary work at the annual international children’s book fair in Bologna. The award is commonly referred to as the Nobel Prize for children’s and youth literature.
Bart Moeyaert was nominated together with no less than 263 other candidates from 64 countries for the prestigious prize, which was established in 2002 by the Swedish government in memory of the world-famous youth writer Astrid Lindgren. 18 finalists remained on the shortlist. What made the jury decide to choose our fellow countryman? Because of ‘his musical and compact language filled with suppressed emotion and unspoken desire. He describes difficult relationships with almost film-like directness. His scintillating work emphasises that children’s and youth literature deserves its own place in world literature’. His award earned him a cash prize of almost €480,000.
In 1983, Bart Moeyaert made his debut at the age of 19 with the autobiographical Duet met Valse Noten (Duet with False Notes), which became an immediate bestseller. It marked the beginning of a writing career that went off in various directions. Meanwhile, Moeyaert has written over fifty books, including picture books, youth literature, novels and poems. His work has been translated in more than twenty countries. In addition to books, Moeyaert also writes for theatre and television and has translated a number of novels.