Bart Moeyaert Named 2019 Laureate of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Flemish author named recipient of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Flemish Author Bart Moeyaert has been named the 2019 Laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Moeyaert was born in 1964 and lives in Antwerp, Belgium. He wrote his first novel, Duet Met Valse Noten (The Off-Key Duet) in 1983 at age 19. Since then, he has written more than 50 titles, from picture books to YA to poetry and been translated into more than 20 languages. He has also written television screenplays and stage plays.

"Bart Moeyaert’s condensed and musical language vibrates with suppressed emotions and unspoken desires," the jury citation reads. "He portrays relationships at crisis point with a cinematic immediacy, even as his complex narratives suggest new ways forward. Bart Moeyaert’s luminous work underscores the fact that books for children and young people have a self-evident place in world literature."

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award,  created in 2002 by the Swedish government and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council, is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature, can go to one or more authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters regardless of language or nationality. A jury selects the laureate(s) from nominated candidates. The award was named for Lindgren, Swedish author, book editor, and creator of the iconic Pippi Longstocking.

"When I was nine I read Astrid Lindgren’s books and the world of Astrid Lindgren was like my own family and the real world was like hers," Moeyaert said when he learned he was named laureate. "And later I saw that her world was about inclusion. And that was comforting because I was a loner in my big family since I was the youngest. And this influenced my work. I want to broaden the borders of children’s literature."

American author Jacqueline Woodson received the honor last year.




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