On 30 October 2016 Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was on hand in Odense to present the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award.
This year’s winner, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, has had his books translated into more than 50 languages. The ceremony took place at Odense City Hall on Sunday afternoon and saw a guest lecture from the author and the premier of a new piece of music which was specially composed for Murakami.
In addition to the Crown Princess, the award ceremony was attended by Mayor Anker Boye and Jens Olesen, the chairman of the award committee counsel.
More about the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award from the official website:
‘Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize is a Danish international literary prize. The aim is to pay tribute to Hans Christian Andersen’s influence on writers worldwide by selecting laureates whose authorship can be attached to Hans Christian Andersen’s name and lifework example by genre similarities or artistic qualities. The selected authors must be “in height swan with HC Andersen”.’
The first award was granted in 2007 to Paulo Coelho. Originally an unnamed award, it was officially established as The Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2010 when it was presented to J.K. Rowling. It has since been awarded every two years and winners have included Isabel Allende in 2012 and Salman Rushdie in 2014.
The award itself is a bronze sculpture by Stine Ring Hansen and it is accompanied by a check for 500,000 krone (approximately £60,500 or $74,000 at current exchange rates) and The Beauty of the Swan Diploma.
More about 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award Winner, Haruki Murakami:
Murakami was chosen because his ‘imaginative prose has a global vision and a narrative joy that finds parallels in Andersen’s oeuvre. Murakami’s ability to boldly blending classic storytelling, pop culture, Japanese tradition, dreamy realism and philosophical discussion promises legacy of Andersen’s storytelling.’
A challenger in the same vein of Hans Christian Andersen himself, Murakami pushes his readers to question their preconceived notions of gender and identity while maintaining a balance of humour, joy, and melancholy.
Also like Andersen, Murakami has reached and thrilled readers worldwide and manages to maintain a solid national base while also being constantly inspired by the cultural and storytelling traditions of a myriad of countries around the globe.