Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (born 20 April 1991, in Nieuwendijk, the Netherlands) is a Dutch writer.[1][2] Rijneveld won the 2020 International Booker Prize together with their translator Michele Hutchison for the debut novel The Discomfort of Evening.[3] Rijneveld is the first Dutch author to win the prize and only the third Dutch author to be nominated.[4]

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
Rijneveld in 2016
Rijneveld in 2016
Born (1991-04-20) 20 April 1991 (age 29)
Nieuwendijk, the Netherlands
OccupationWriter, poet
GenreNovels, verse
Notable awardsInternational Booker Prize 2020
Years active2015–present


Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (2015)

Rijneveld grew up in a Reformed family on a farm in North Brabant in the Netherlands.[1][5] Rijneveld has said that their debut novel, translated into English as The Discomfort of Evening, is inspired partly by the death of their brother when the author was three.[1] It took them six years to complete the novel.[6]

Rijneveld is said to have developed an interest in writing in primary school after reading J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which they borrowed from the local library.[6][7] Because in Reformed circles references to magic are considered taboo, Rijneveld copied out the whole book onto their computer so they could re-read it upon returning the novel.[6] Rijneveld identifies as both male and female, and adopted the second first name Lucas at the age of nineteen, having been bullied during secondary education because of their "boyishness".[8] Rijneveld uses they/them personal pronouns in English,[9] but zij/haar (she/her) in Dutch.[10]

Rijneveld said Jan Wolkers, who also grew up in a Reformed environment, is their idol.[6] Their interest in poetry was conceived when having speech therapy and looking at pictures with poetry on them while waiting for the therapy session. When Rijneveld was progressing in therapy, they were allowed to read those poems by the therapist.[8]

Rijneveld studied to become a Dutch teacher, but dropped out to focus on writing.[8] They published the poetry collection Kalfsvlies in 2015, and that same year were named the most promising new Dutch writer.[11] They broke through, nationally and internationally, with their debut novel The Discomfort of Evening, whose English translation received positive reviews and won the International Booker Prize in 2020. A second book of poetry followed in 2019 and a second novel, Mijn lieve gunsteling, in 2020.[12]

In 2021 Rijneveld was selected by American poet Amanda Gorman to translate her work into Dutch. Rijneveld initially accepted the commission, but later withdrew after Dutch race advocate Janice Deul criticised the publisher for commissioning a white translator for the work of a black poet.[13]


Poetry collectionsEdit

  • Kalfsvlies, 2015 (English: Calf's caul, excerpts from which were translated into English by Sarah Timmer Harvey and shortlisted for Asymptote magazine's "Close Approximations" translation contest in 2017).[14][15]
  • Fantoommerrie, 2019 (English: Phantom Mare)


  • De avond is ongemak, 2018, published in English as The Discomfort of Evening, translated by Michele Hutchison (Faber & Faber) ISBN 9780571349364.
  • Mijn lieve gunsteling, 2020 (Atlas Contact)[12]


  • Shortlisted in April 2020 for the International Booker Prize,[9][16] and announced the winner in August 2020, for The Discomfort of Evening, translated by Michele Hutchison.[3]
  • Kalfsvlies, awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize for best Dutch-language poetry debut in 2015.[17]
  • De avond is ongemak, awarded the ANV Debutantenprijs, the prize for best debut novel in Dutch, in 2019.[18]


  1. ^ a b c Kinsella, Ana. "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: the Dutch dairy farmer who wrote a bestseller". Dazed.
  2. ^ "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld". The Booker Prizes. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b Flood, Alison (26 August 2020). "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld wins International Booker for The Discomfort of Evening". The Guardian.
  4. ^ "Interview with longlisted author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translator Michele Hutchison". The Booker Prizes. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: 'My stories all came back to the loss of my brother'". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  6. ^ a b c d "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld in Tims ^ tent: maar dan op een eiland". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  7. ^ "'WAT ZAL MIJN FAMILIE ZEGGEN ALS DE DICHTBUNDEL UITKOMT?'". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  8. ^ a b c Berkeljon, Sara (2 February 2018). "'Me alleen Lucas noemen zou ik een te grote stap vinden, maar ik word nooit meer alleen Marieke'". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  9. ^ a b Flood, Alison (2020-04-02). "International Booker prize shortlist led by 28-year-old's debut". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  10. ^ Becker, Sander (8 October 2020). "Genderneutrale taal - Is het Nederlands klaar voor het genderneutrale 'Hen loopt'?". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, literaire belofte van 2015: 'Door al het succes heb ik een enorme werkdrift gekregen'". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b Mertens, Dieuwertje (6 November 2020). "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - Mijn lieve gunsteling: het moet verdomde eenzaam zijn aan de top". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  13. ^ Flood, Alison (1 March 2021). "'Shocked by the uproar': Amanda Gorman's white translator quits". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  14. ^ "from Calf's Caul - Asymptote". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  15. ^ "Close Approximations: In Conversation With Poetry Runner-up Sarah Timmer Harvey - Asymptote Blog". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  16. ^ Self, John. "The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld review — no comfort on this farm". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  17. ^ "Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (poet) - The Netherlands - Poetry International". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  18. ^ "news - Winners ANV Debutantenprijs - Letterenfonds". Retrieved 2020-04-02.