Bart Moeyart, 2019 Astrid Lindgren Laureate

Evocative Flemish YA novelist, poet, and picture-book author Bart Moeyart of Belgium won the 2019 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his body of work that encompasses books for young children, fairy-tale revisions, drama for television and the stage, and lyrics.  

Moeyart, honored at the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award “award week” in Stockholm in late May, read Lindgren’s works as a child and began his own career in writing for children at age 19. The author’s many awards include the Flemish children’s literature award Boekeenleuw at four-year intervals from 1992 to 2000, as well as in 2012 and 2013; the Dutch children’s book prize, Zilveren Griffel (Sliver Slate Pencil), in 2002, 2004, 2012 and 2013; the 2004 Gouden Uil (Golden Owl) for Dutch-language literature; and the Deutscher Jugendliteratur Preis (German Children’s Literature Prize) in 1998. Writing in Dutch in a range of media and genres, Moeyart “has a literary language that is compressed and musical, and a suggestively charged narrative technique that conveys a filmlike sense of immediacy. He works in shades of grey. He draws no easy lines between good and evil, heroes and villains,” the ALMA website asserts. Rather, he closely examines “complex relationships” and eschews “clear-cut happy endings,” opting instead for characters’ enlarged perspective. Moeyart writes primarily in the realist mode, grounding experiences in the five senses, Vanessa Joosen observes, but “[t]he first striking quality of Moeyaert's work is the diversity of genres and target groups for which he writes, ranging from toddlers to adults. He has practiced almost any conceivable literary genre: novels, short stories and picture books, books for early readers, poetry, theatre, audio books, song texts and television scripts, essays, columns, etc. He approaches all of these disciplines with the same zeal and pursuit of perfection” (“Bart Moeyaert: Sensual Appeal and Difficult Issues,” Bookbird vol. 50, no. 4, 2012, pp. 83-89). Joosen credits Moeyart’s immense talent and versatility, as well as his vocal championship of children’s authorship, with increasing Flemish and Dutch respect for children’s book creators and readers (89). His books have been translated into most European national languages (Danish, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish) as well as Africaans, Catalan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

For details of Moeyart’s work, see the ALMA announcement and bibliography and Emma Kantor’s Publisher’s Weekly article of 2 Apr. 2019 (“Bologna 2019: Bart Moeyart Wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award”).

Share this post:

Comments on "Bart Moeyart, 2019 Astrid Lindgren Laureate"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment