La Superba
2018 Longlist

La Superba

Translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

La Superba is a Rabelaisian stylistic tour-de-force set in Genoa, the labyrinthine port city (nicknamed ‘La Superba’) where the author has lived for the last six years. Migration, legal and illegal, is the central theme of this autobiographical novel about a writer who becomes trapped in his walk on the wild side in a mysterious and exotic Old World city.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Ilja
Leonard

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, a classicist by training, made his debut with the poetry collection van de vierkante man (Of the Square Man, 1999), an homage to the experimental poetry of his great models, Pindar and Lucebert. In the years that followed, in addition to poetry, he has written stage plays, essays, columns, travel accounts, stories, political satires and four novels written in the spirit of Rabelais. In his other novels, he has played a game with world literature and divided the critics between those proclaiming him a genius and those who thought him an antiquated stylist. He’s a bit of both. La Superba is Pfeijffer’s masterpiece, and was greeted with unanimous praise, including the most prominent recognition with the awarding of Libris Literatuurprijs, the Netherlands’ most prestigious literary award, and the Tzum Prize, awarded for “the most beautiful sentence of the year,” which he has won twice.

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, a classicist by training, made his debut with the poetry collection van de vierkante man (Of the Square Man, 1999), an homage to the experimental poetry of his great models, Pindar and Lucebert. In the years that followed, in addition to poetry, he has written stage plays, essays, columns, travel accounts, stories, political satires and four novels written in the spirit of Rabelais. In his other novels, he has played a game with world literature and divided the critics between those proclaiming him a genius and those who thought him an antiquated stylist. He’s a bit of both. La Superba is Pfeijffer’s masterpiece, and was greeted with unanimous praise, including the most prominent recognition with the awarding of Libris Literatuurprijs, the Netherlands’ most prestigious literary award, and the Tzum Prize, awarded for “the most beautiful sentence of the year,” which he has won twice.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Michele
Hutchison

Michele Hutchison is a literary translator from Dutch and French into English and a former commissioning editor at various publishing houses. She was educated at UEA, Cambridge and Lyon universities. She has translated more than forty-five books from Dutch. She received the Vondel Translation Prize 2020 for Stage Four, her translation of Sander Kollaard’s Stadium IV. In 2020 The Discomfort of Evening, her translation of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel was awarded the International Booker Prize. Hutchison is also co-author of The Happiest Kids in the World: What We Can Learn from Dutch Parents.

Michele Hutchison is a literary translator from Dutch and French into English and a former commissioning editor at various publishing houses. She was educated at UEA, Cambridge and Lyon universities. She has translated more than forty-five books from Dutch. She received the Vondel Translation Prize 2020 for Stage Four, her translation of Sander Kollaard’s Stadium IV. In 2020 The Discomfort of Evening, her translation of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel was awarded the International Booker Prize. Hutchison is also co-author of The Happiest Kids in the World: What We Can Learn from Dutch Parents.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Pfeijffer’s autobiographical novel about migration, illegal and legal, in Genoa tells the story of Europe today. A wholly postmodern ode to the imagination that lovingly describes the labyrinthine and magical city that Pfeijffer calls home@Genoa, Italy, the city known as La Superba. The novel won the Libris Literatuur Prijs 2014.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
05/04/2016
Country
Netherlands
Original Language
Dutch
Author
Publisher
Deep Vellum Publishing
Translator
Michele Hutchison
Translation
Translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison

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