phantompain2005
2005 Shortlist

Phantom Pain

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Once a literary novelist of some respectability, now brought low by the double insult of obscurity and crippling debt, Robert G. Mehlman is a man in need of money and recognition, fast. It is, of course, to cookery writing that he turns. A practised decadent, a habitual spendthrift and a serial womaniser, he has, ostensibly, all the right qualities. But the path of fame is never a smooth one.
Phantom Pain is the bitterly funny but unpublished manuscript of Mehlman’s autobiography. In it, he tells the parallel stories of his decaying marriage and his affair with a woman he meets by chance and who accompanies him on the road. Their journey takes them on a chauffeur-driven, midnight run from New York to Atlantic City where they gamble away most of Mehlman’s remaining funds and then north, to Albany, where his unlikely salvation and the inspiration for his book Polish-Jewish Cuisine in 69 Recipes lie.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Arnon
Grunberg

Author Arnon Yasha Yves Grunberg was born in Amsterdam in 1971. He lives and works in New York City.

Grunberg was kicked out of high school at age seventeen. He started his own publishing company called Kasimir, specializing in non-Aryan German literature, at the age of nineteen, acted and wrote plays. When he was only twenty-three years old, his first novel Blue Mondays became a bestseller in Europe and won the Anton Wachter Prize. It has been translated in thirteen languages.

His novel Silent Extras was published in 1997 and has sold more than 100,000 copies.

In 1998 he wrote the novel Saint Anthony for the Dutch “Week of the Books”. 701,000 copies were published. His collection of essays entitled The Comfort of Slapstick was published the same year.

His first screenplay, The Fourteenth Chicken, was released as a movie in the fall of 1998, coinciding with the premiere of You Are Also Very Attractive When You Are Dead, a play Grunberg wrote for German and Israeli actors and which has been performed in Düsseldorf and Tel Aviv.

Grunberg’s novel Phantom Pain was published in 2000 and went on to win the AKO Prize, the Dutch equivalent of the Booker. The English translation of this novel was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2005.

Grunberg was commissioned by the city of Rotterdam and the publishing house Athenaeum-Polak & van Gennep to write a contemporary version of Erasmus’ In Praise of Folly. This book, In Praise of Mankind, came out in 2001 and won the Golden Owl Award for the best book a year later. 2001 also saw the publication of Amuse-Bouche, a collection of his short stories.

Under the name Marek van der Jagt, Grunberg wrote the novel The Story of My Baldness, for which he won for the second time the Anton Wachter Prize, a prize for the best debut novel. He became the first novelist in the history of this prize to have won it twice. The Story of My Baldness won the Aspekte Prize in Germany.

Again under the name Marek van der Jagt, in 2002, Grunberg published the essay Monogamous, the essay chosen that year for the “Week of the Books”. Another Marek van der Jagt work, the novel Gstaad 95-98, was published in 2002 and was introduced by Arnon Grunberg in Vienna.

In 2002 Grunberg won the German NRW Literature Prize for all his books translated into German, including those by Marek van der Jagt.

In 2003 his novel The Asylum Seeker was published in the Netherlands and hailed as his best novel to date.

In 2004 he published a collection of short stories, Grunberg Around the World, and a novella, Monkey Grabbing Hold of Happines. September 2004 his novel The Jewish Messiah was published.

In 2004 he won the prestigious Bordewijk Prize for The Asylum Seeker.
Also he won for this novel for the second time the AKO Prize. Grunberg is the only author till now to win this prize twice.

From September 2004 till November 2005 he was the anchorman for the weekly Dutch cultural TV show R.A.M.

In 2005 The Jewish Messiah was on the shortlist of both the Golden Owl and the AKO Prize.
In the spring of 2005 he gave a masterclass at the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands, on “the technique of suffering”. Fall 2005 The Technique of Suffering was published. The book contains his lectures and a description of the machines that the students built under his supervision.

Also in 2005 The Grunberg Bible was published, the best from the Old and the New Testament according to Grunberg.

In the same year he edited a collection of stories from Eastern Europe, Fear Defeats Everything.

In September 2006 his novel Tirza was published. With this novel he won his second Golden Owl Award and the Libris Prize. It has sold more than 300,000 copies.

Because I Desire You, a collection of letters, was published in 2007.

His novel Our Uncle was published in September 2008.

A collection of reports from 2006 till 2008, Chambermaids and Soldiers, was published early 2009.

In the autumn of 2009 The Betrayal of the Text was published, a collection of Grunberg’s reading about war and truth, during his guest lectureship at Leiden University, as well as essays and short stories of his students.

He was guest writer at Wageningen University in September and October 2009.

In December 2009 Grunberg received the Constantijn Huygens Prize for his complete oeuvre, followed by the Frans Kellendonk prize in 2010.

His novel Huid en Haar (Tooth and Nail) was published in October 2010.

In the spring of 2011 Grunberg wrote a play, De Hollanders (directed by Gerardjan Rijnders), about the return of Dutch soldiers from Afghanistan, for students of the Amsterdam Theater School. The premiere was in De Kleine Komedie in Amsterdam on the 22nd of June 2011.

Grunberg was awarded with the Flemish KANTL Prize for his novel Tirza in July.

In October 2011 De Mensendokter was published.

In February 2012 a first collection of Arnon Grunberg’s daily column in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, Voetnoot (Footnote), was published.

In May 2012 his novel De man zonder ziekte was published.

In February 2013 Grunberg’s collected essays about film, Buster Keaton lacht nooit (“Buster Keaton never laughs”) came out.

In November 2013 a collection of short stories, Apocalypse was published.

In January 2015 his play Our Mothers premiered.

The following month the novella Het bestand came out.

Grunberg was a honorary fellow at the University of Amsterdam in January and February 2015.

In May 2016 his novel Birthmarks came out.

On June 18th 2016 the play The Future of Sex premiered.

In January 2017 Grunberg was awarded the Gouden Ganzenveer, a prize for his major contribution to the written word.

In May 2017 Thuis ben je, a collection of travel stories, was published.

June 1st 2017 was the premiere of De Mensheid, in which Grunberg played one of the leading roles.

The play De tweede wereldoorlog eindigt vandaag premiered on May 4th 2018.

In September 2018 he published the novel Goede mannen.

The essay Vriend en vijand (‘Friend and foe’) on Carl Schmitt, was published in February 2019.

In June 2019, Van achterdocht tot zelfgenoegzaamheid (‘From distrust to complacency’) was published, a collection of treatises on modern humans.

For the academic year of 2019-2020, Grunberg was chosen to be the Vrije Schrijver (‘Writer in residence’) of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam to reflect on the theme of Governance for society.

He published the novel Bezette gebieden (‘Occupied territories’) in January 2020.

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, his anthology Bij ons in Auschwitz (‘We were in Auschwitz’) was presented, containing testimonies and eyewitness accounts from the Lager.

In 2021, Slachters en Psychiaters [‘Slaughterers and psychiatrists’], a collection of Arnon Grunberg’s reports from December 2009 till June 2020, was published.

In the same year, he published his sixteenth novel De dood in Taormina.

In 2021 Arnon Grunberg held the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Technical University of Eindhoven during its 65th lustrum year.

In 2022 Arnon Grunberg won the Johannes Vermeer Prize and the PC Hooft Prize 2022, a literary lifetime achievement award for his entire oeuvre.

Grunberg’s work has been translated into thirty different languages.

He writes reports, book reviews, columns and essays for the Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant, a monthly column for the Belgian magazine Humo (The Mailbox of Arnon Grunberg), for Wordt Vervolgd, the Dutch magazine of Amnesty International, and the magazine Vrij Nederland (Grunberg Helps), and a weekly column for the magazine VPRO Gids.

Regularly he publishes essays and stories in literary magazine Hollands Maandblad.

Grunberg also wrote a blog for the online literary magazine Words Without Borders from 2005 till 2010.

He contributed to for example The New York Times, The Times of London, The Guardian, Ha’aretz, Piauí, Revista Ñ, Revista CTXT, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Aftonbladet, Tages-Anzeiger, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Standard, Die Welt, Die Zeit, Tachles, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, SonntagsZeitung, Libération, Courrier International, Culture + Travel, Salon.com, n+1 Magazine and Bookforum.

Source – Author’s Website

 

Author Arnon Yasha Yves Grunberg was born in Amsterdam in 1971. He lives and works in New York City.

Grunberg was kicked out of high school at age seventeen. He started his own publishing company called Kasimir, specializing in non-Aryan German literature, at the age of nineteen, acted and wrote plays. When he was only twenty-three years old, his first novel Blue Mondays became a bestseller in Europe and won the Anton Wachter Prize. It has been translated in thirteen languages.

His novel Silent Extras was published in 1997 and has sold more than 100,000 copies.

In 1998 he wrote the novel Saint Anthony for the Dutch “Week of the Books”. 701,000 copies were published. His collection of essays entitled The Comfort of Slapstick was published the same year.

His first screenplay, The Fourteenth Chicken, was released as a movie in the fall of 1998, coinciding with the premiere of You Are Also Very Attractive When You Are Dead, a play Grunberg wrote for German and Israeli actors and which has been performed in Düsseldorf and Tel Aviv.

Grunberg’s novel Phantom Pain was published in 2000 and went on to win the AKO Prize, the Dutch equivalent of the Booker. The English translation of this novel was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2005.

Grunberg was commissioned by the city of Rotterdam and the publishing house Athenaeum-Polak & van Gennep to write a contemporary version of Erasmus’ In Praise of Folly. This book, In Praise of Mankind, came out in 2001 and won the Golden Owl Award for the best book a year later. 2001 also saw the publication of Amuse-Bouche, a collection of his short stories.

Under the name Marek van der Jagt, Grunberg wrote the novel The Story of My Baldness, for which he won for the second time the Anton Wachter Prize, a prize for the best debut novel. He became the first novelist in the history of this prize to have won it twice. The Story of My Baldness won the Aspekte Prize in Germany.

Again under the name Marek van der Jagt, in 2002, Grunberg published the essay Monogamous, the essay chosen that year for the “Week of the Books”. Another Marek van der Jagt work, the novel Gstaad 95-98, was published in 2002 and was introduced by Arnon Grunberg in Vienna.

In 2002 Grunberg won the German NRW Literature Prize for all his books translated into German, including those by Marek van der Jagt.

In 2003 his novel The Asylum Seeker was published in the Netherlands and hailed as his best novel to date.

In 2004 he published a collection of short stories, Grunberg Around the World, and a novella, Monkey Grabbing Hold of Happines. September 2004 his novel The Jewish Messiah was published.

In 2004 he won the prestigious Bordewijk Prize for The Asylum Seeker.
Also he won for this novel for the second time the AKO Prize. Grunberg is the only author till now to win this prize twice.

From September 2004 till November 2005 he was the anchorman for the weekly Dutch cultural TV show R.A.M.

In 2005 The Jewish Messiah was on the shortlist of both the Golden Owl and the AKO Prize.
In the spring of 2005 he gave a masterclass at the Technical University in Delft, the Netherlands, on “the technique of suffering”. Fall 2005 The Technique of Suffering was published. The book contains his lectures and a description of the machines that the students built under his supervision.

Also in 2005 The Grunberg Bible was published, the best from the Old and the New Testament according to Grunberg.

In the same year he edited a collection of stories from Eastern Europe, Fear Defeats Everything.

In September 2006 his novel Tirza was published. With this novel he won his second Golden Owl Award and the Libris Prize. It has sold more than 300,000 copies.

Because I Desire You, a collection of letters, was published in 2007.

His novel Our Uncle was published in September 2008.

A collection of reports from 2006 till 2008, Chambermaids and Soldiers, was published early 2009.

In the autumn of 2009 The Betrayal of the Text was published, a collection of Grunberg’s reading about war and truth, during his guest lectureship at Leiden University, as well as essays and short stories of his students.

He was guest writer at Wageningen University in September and October 2009.

In December 2009 Grunberg received the Constantijn Huygens Prize for his complete oeuvre, followed by the Frans Kellendonk prize in 2010.

His novel Huid en Haar (Tooth and Nail) was published in October 2010.

In the spring of 2011 Grunberg wrote a play, De Hollanders (directed by Gerardjan Rijnders), about the return of Dutch soldiers from Afghanistan, for students of the Amsterdam Theater School. The premiere was in De Kleine Komedie in Amsterdam on the 22nd of June 2011.

Grunberg was awarded with the Flemish KANTL Prize for his novel Tirza in July.

In October 2011 De Mensendokter was published.

In February 2012 a first collection of Arnon Grunberg’s daily column in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, Voetnoot (Footnote), was published.

In May 2012 his novel De man zonder ziekte was published.

In February 2013 Grunberg’s collected essays about film, Buster Keaton lacht nooit (“Buster Keaton never laughs”) came out.

In November 2013 a collection of short stories, Apocalypse was published.

In January 2015 his play Our Mothers premiered.

The following month the novella Het bestand came out.

Grunberg was a honorary fellow at the University of Amsterdam in January and February 2015.

In May 2016 his novel Birthmarks came out.

On June 18th 2016 the play The Future of Sex premiered.

In January 2017 Grunberg was awarded the Gouden Ganzenveer, a prize for his major contribution to the written word.

In May 2017 Thuis ben je, a collection of travel stories, was published.

June 1st 2017 was the premiere of De Mensheid, in which Grunberg played one of the leading roles.

The play De tweede wereldoorlog eindigt vandaag premiered on May 4th 2018.

In September 2018 he published the novel Goede mannen.

The essay Vriend en vijand (‘Friend and foe’) on Carl Schmitt, was published in February 2019.

In June 2019, Van achterdocht tot zelfgenoegzaamheid (‘From distrust to complacency’) was published, a collection of treatises on modern humans.

For the academic year of 2019-2020, Grunberg was chosen to be the Vrije Schrijver (‘Writer in residence’) of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam to reflect on the theme of Governance for society.

He published the novel Bezette gebieden (‘Occupied territories’) in January 2020.

On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, his anthology Bij ons in Auschwitz (‘We were in Auschwitz’) was presented, containing testimonies and eyewitness accounts from the Lager.

In 2021, Slachters en Psychiaters [‘Slaughterers and psychiatrists’], a collection of Arnon Grunberg’s reports from December 2009 till June 2020, was published.

In the same year, he published his sixteenth novel De dood in Taormina.

In 2021 Arnon Grunberg held the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Technical University of Eindhoven during its 65th lustrum year.

In 2022 Arnon Grunberg won the Johannes Vermeer Prize and the PC Hooft Prize 2022, a literary lifetime achievement award for his entire oeuvre.

Grunberg’s work has been translated into thirty different languages.

He writes reports, book reviews, columns and essays for the Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant, a monthly column for the Belgian magazine Humo (The Mailbox of Arnon Grunberg), for Wordt Vervolgd, the Dutch magazine of Amnesty International, and the magazine Vrij Nederland (Grunberg Helps), and a weekly column for the magazine VPRO Gids.

Regularly he publishes essays and stories in literary magazine Hollands Maandblad.

Grunberg also wrote a blog for the online literary magazine Words Without Borders from 2005 till 2010.

He contributed to for example The New York Times, The Times of London, The Guardian, Ha’aretz, Piauí, Revista Ñ, Revista CTXT, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Aftonbladet, Tages-Anzeiger, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Standard, Die Welt, Die Zeit, Tachles, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, SonntagsZeitung, Libération, Courrier International, Culture + Travel, Salon.com, n+1 Magazine and Bookforum.

Source – Author’s Website

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Netherlands
Original Language
Dutch
Publisher
Other Press, Harvill Secker
Translator
Sam Garrett

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