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Omega Minor wins major award

Belgian authors don’t get an awful lot of press on the world stage. Paul Verhaeghen is changing that. A few hours ago, he won The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for his novel Omega Minor. He also translated the book.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the UK.

Omega Minor is Verhaeghen’s second novel and his first to be translated from Dutch into English. The author is a cognitive psychologist, and focuses on memory and the basic aspects of ageing.

The purse is £10,000 but the author isn’t taking accepting the cash himself.

“Part of this book is about the rise and aftermath of Fascism in Nazi Germany. And it’s hard to miss the analogous things happening in the US. I refused the Flemish Culture award after I realised around $5,000 (£2,555) of the winnings would go to the US treasury. So this time, I decided to give the money to the American Civil Liberties Union, which works for civil rights. The money won’t be liable for tax.”

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