In an exciting bit of literary news, Jaap Robben’s Summer Brother has been longlisted for the 2021 International Man Booker, with the shortlist to be announced on 22nd April. Translated from the Dutch by David Doherty and published by World Editions in the UK, the US edition of Summer Brother has already garnered critical acclaim including a lead review in the New York Times. Here’s what the author, translator, and publisher shared with us about the nomination:
In Summer Brother, I wrote about fictional characters with almost invisible lives. In a way, I feel very glad for my characters that the Booker Prize jury noticed them. And as their writer, I feel very honoured with by the longlist nomination for one of the world’s most beautiful literary awards.” – Author Jaap Robben
I was only a few pages into Jaap’s novel when it dawned on me I was sitting there with a massive grin on my face… and that was before I knew I’d have the chance to translate it! Here’s hoping many more readers will soon be stepping into the beautiful, broken world of young Brian, his enigmatic brother, his absent mum and his hapless macho dad.” – Translator David Doherty
We are very proud for Jaap Robben to be nominated for this prestigious prize. Robben combines deep sensitivity with a wonderful eye for imagery and atmosphere. His universe is one of children neglected by their parents and abandoned to their fates, but at the same time there is beauty and love to be found in the most unlikely of places. I love the tenderness of his writing, as well as his subtle humor. He is one of the best writers in the Netherlands, where extraordinary literature is blossoming as never before.” – Publisher at World Editions, Judith Uyterlinde
You can also listen to Jaap Robben speak about the inspiration behind the book here:
Summer Brother is arriving in bookshops April 8th, but if you can’t wait until then, check out Robben’s previous novel You Have Me To Love.
“Jaap Robben handles delicate, dangerous material with subtlety and sympathy.” – Colm Tóibín on You Have Me to Love
Summer Brother by Jaap Robben, trans. by David Doherty is out 8th April from World Editions
(9781912987139, p/b, £12.99)
Or support your local bookstore.
As booksellers across the UK face renewed restrictions, they need your help to stay afloat.
If anything you’ve read about on our blog catches your eye, consider ordering from your local bookshop. Find yours here. Alternatively, you can browse your favourite indies on Bookshop.org.