Monday, April 14, 2008

Marc Reugebrink wins Gouden Uil

Het grote uitstel has won the Gouden Uil Literatuurprijs 2008, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the Low Countries. Reugebrinks second novel, Touchdown (2004), had already reached the 2005 longlist. With Het grote uitstel (The big delay) Reugebrink wins his first major award.

The big delay is a novel for all who are filled with nostalgia for the seventies and the eighties.

Daniël Winfried Rega is perfectly happy. In the provinces as well the Cold War is sweeping the country. Young men subscribe to permanent revolution, surrender to constant pub-going and try to change the world in the arms of a girl. The respite Rega grants himself is tragic, desperate and ecstatic. He nestles in status quo and, in the midst of bigger changes and words that become more and more expensive, he chooses a world-shattering organization. Until life overtakes him on the left.

Seldomly have the seventies and eighties been described in such an inevitable way. Het grote uitstel is a bildungsnovel about the overconfidence of youth and great principles that were turned into excuse. It takes you by surprise. Marc Reugebrink has written a beautifully composed masterpiece: humorous, vicious and full of compassion.

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