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Za 7 Nov

The Chronicles


The Chronicles 2020

The Chronicles is Crossing Border Festival’s unique annual residency project for talented authors and translators. Today we can announce this year’s participants. Talented writers Anne Moraal, Munir Hachemi, Naoise Dolan, Sebastiaan Chabot and Sholeh Rezazadeh will be blogging live from the festival about their insights. Munir and Naoise will be blogging from home, as crossing the border isn’t deemed a possibility at the moment. At the same time, translators will get to work and offer the audience an almost immediate translation. These translators are at the start of their literary careers and will showcase that they can produce fast and high-quality translations. This year’s participating translators are Carly Berendsen, Fleur Jeras, Francesco Panzeri, Madelon Janse, Olga Niziołek en Sophie Atkins. Prior to the festival, there will be a blog published online by every author. During the festival three will be written live and a final blog will conclude their journey after the festival has ended. All blogs will be published with their respective translations. The first blogs will be published in October through thechronicles.eu

Live Event during Crossing Border Festival

The Dutch authors and translators of The Chronicles 2020 will be live on stage during the Crossing Border Festival. Besides the blogs and translations that will be written, they will also be questioned about their books, their debuts, translating, the literary world and this year’s collaborations. How did they make it work with the other person they’re working with, not being in the same country, something that was also custom in previous years? We’ll hear all about it during this special live programme.

Moderator: Jelko Arts

Za 7 Nov

20:00 - 21:15

Theater Aan Het Spui


Za 7 Nov

European Literature Prize


The European Literature Prize is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The award goes to the best contemporary European novel that was translated into Dutch and published the previous year. What is unique about the prize, is that both author and translator are rewarded.

To mark the anniversary, an extra jury had been installed with a majority of students as its members. Presided over by author Alma Mathijsen, this jury has chosen Frère d'âme by David Diop as its winner. The novel has been translated from French by Martine Woudt and is published in the Netherlands by Cossee.

The regular jury, presided over by author Abdelkader Benali has chosen Spring by Ali Smith as its winner. This novel was translated from English by Karina van Santen and Martine Vosmaer and is published in the Netherlands by Prometheus.


On Saturday evening 7 November chairs of the jury’s Alma Mathijsen and Abdelkader Benali will introduce the winners to the audience: David Diop, Ali Smith and their translators Martine Woudt, Karina van Santen and Martine Vosmaer. The award-winning authors will be present via video. Expect a wide-ranging conversation on borders and migration, manipulation and exclusion, connection and imagination, art, storytelling and hope.


Abdelkader Benali (1975) is a novelist, poet, journalist and playwright as well as tv presenter, moderator, performer and promotor of literature. His highly acclaimed debut Wedding by the Sea (1996) was an international bestseller. His second novel, The Long Awaited received the Libris Literature Award 2003. Recent works include Letter to my Daughter (2016), The Weekend Millionaire (2019) and The Stranger; racism explained to ourselves (2020). This year Abdelkader was awarded the Golden Goose Feather for his contribution to and efforts to promote Dutch literature.

Alma Mathijsen (1984) writes novels, short stories, plays, essays and columns. She started writing for an online magazine at age seventeen and secured a column in Het Parool, a leading Amsterdam based newspaper. Mathijsen studied Creative Writing at Pratt Institute in New York and graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy’s Image & Language department in 2011. That same year, her debut novel Everything is Carmen was published, followed by The Great Good Things (2014) and Forget the Girls (2017), which was shortlisted for the BNG Bank Literary Awards. In her most recent novella, I Don’t Want to Be a Dog (2019), a woman decides she wants to turn into a dog so she and her ex-lover can be together again.

The award ceremony of the European Literature Prize will be organised in collaboration with Spui25.

Saturday the 7th will be dedicated to the noble art of translation, with The Chronicles live and the award ceremony of The European Literature Prize. A limited amount of free guest tickets are available.

Za 7 Nov

21:45 - 23:15

Theater Aan Het Spui