"Bart Moeyaert’s condensed and musical language vibrates with suppressed emotions and unspoken desires. He portrays relationships at crisis point with a cinematic immediacy, even as his complex narratives suggest new ways forward. Bart Moeyaert’s luminous work underscores the fact that books for children and young people have a self-evident place in world literature."

 
Photo: Joost Joossen

2019 Bart Moeyaert

Born in Belgium in 1964, Bart Moeyaert is a multi-award winning author who has written for children and young people since his debut at age 19. His large and diverse body of work encompasses over fifty titles, ranging from picture books and YA works to poetry, plays, song lyrics, television screenplays and essays.



– When I was nine I read Astrid Lindgren’s books and the world of Astrid Lindgren was like my own family and the real world was like hers. And later I saw that her world was about inclusion. And that was comforting because I was a loner in my big family since I was the youngest. And this influenced my work. I want to broaden the borders of children’s literature, says Bart Moeyaert when he was informed about the award.

Body of work
Bart Moeyaert has a literary language that is compressed and musical, and a suggestively charged narrative technique that conveys a filmlike sense of immediacy. He works in shades of grey. He draws no easy lines between good and evil, heroes and villains. Instead, he puts complex relationships under the loupe. Nor does Moeyaert serve up clear-cut happy endings. Instead, the onward path reveals itself in a comprehension of the circumstances and in the characters themselves.

Selected books
His latest novel, Tegenwoordig heet iedereen Sorry (Everybody’s Sorry Nowadays), was published in October 2018 and is a razor-sharp, emotionally charged portrait of twelve-year-old Bianca. The masterpiece Het is de liefde die we niet begrijpen (1999, It’s Love We Don’t Understand) tells the story of a family coming apart at the seams, as seen through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old girl. The pulse-racing drama Blote handen (1995, Bare Hands), winner of the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, describes a boy’s tumultuous feelings and takes place on an eventful New Year’s Eve. In the autobiographical Broere (2002, Brothers), Moeyaert writes with warmth and humor about growing up as the youngest of seven brothers. The book was adapted for the stage (with Moeyaert himself in a role) and received the prestigious Woutertje Pieterse Prijs.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 27 May 2019.