We are happy and proud to announce that Quynh Tran’s debut novel Shade and Breeze is this year’s recipient of Svenska Yle’s Literature Prize. The award is presented to “the best Finno-Swedish book of the year” and previous winners include Kjell Westö and Johanna Holmström.
Here is the jury’s statement: “Shade and Breeze is a captivating coming-of-age story about trying to understand ourselves, the surrounding world and those closest to us. Even if the other family members – the mother and the brother – are the prime focus of the events, the anonymous narrator quickly becomes the novel’s driving force. With a sensitive, evocative and often lyrical language the narrative emerges through short chapters in the form of tableaus or scenes, which give the reader small but vivid glimpses into the narrator’s world. Without representing a minority experience or an immigrant perspective, Tran’s meticulous portrayal of the family in their new Ostrobothnian hometown still raises questions about identity and belonging. The novel plays with ideas regarding shade and light – the story jumps back and forth in time and space, between reality and imagination, between the obvious and the intangible – and thereby also reflects the world the way it is often perceived from a child’s perspective. By forcing the reader to read between the lines and explore the shadows, Tran transforms a story with a seemingly simple premise into a portrayal with many nuances and layers.”