Mariken Heitman wins with novel Wormmaan Libris Literature Prize

Writer Mariken Heitman has with her book Wormmaan won the Libris Literature Prize 2022. That is what jury chairman Ahmed Aboutaleb just announced in news hour.

The jury praised Heitman for her “great intellect, literary mastery and the courage not to opt for a conventional narrative.”

The book Wormmaan is about main character Elke. There are two central themes that Heitman manages to connect with each other. It is about the start and development of agriculture, in addition, the book is about identity, in particular gender identity.

The main character is engaged in breeding crops. She likens this process to the socialization of people. In the book she wants to restore an ancient pea in order to undo the ‘improvement’. She wants to get rid of the ‘ideal pea’ that has to comply with the rules of society.

Watch the images of the award ceremony and the speech of winner Mariken Heitman here:

Presentation Libris

Wormmaan is only the second novel by Heitman, who is a biologist by birth. Heitman’s knowledge can also be read in the book through main character Elke, who enriches seeds. The reader learns about seeds, crops and soil, among other things.

It is not an easy book to read, says the jury: “As a reader you are not pleased but challenged to crack your brain: the novel is philosophical, without being unnecessarily weighty”

Live from Felix Meritis in Amsterdam, where the brand new winner received the prize, Heitman said in a first reaction that he was very happy. “The recognition by such an award makes me very happy. I am very honoured. Unbelievable!” As the winner, Heitman will receive 50,000 euros and a bronze medal, designed by Irma Boom.



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