Joyce Carol Oates awarded Sjöjungfrun – accepts new Literary Prize at the Book Fair

Joyce Carol Oates

In anticipation of Gothenburg Book Fair’s 40th anniversary, the symbol from the Book Fair logo, the mermaid, takes on a new significance as it becomes a literary award, called Sjöjungfrun in Swedish. The recipient of the very first “Mermaid Award” is the author Joyce Carol Oates, whose gripping works of fiction have deeply touched Swedish readers in a meaningful way.

“I am deeply grateful for this beautiful award from one of the most celebrated European book fairs – an unexpected honour and indeed an encouragement; writing can be a lonely life, and such recognition shines a torch into solitude,” says Joyce Carol Oates in a statement.

Joyce Carol Oates will receive the award at this year’s Gothenburg Book Fair, taking place between September 26th – 29th. As the first guest announced for the 2024 fair, her participation and acceptance of the award will undoubtedly be a highlight of the anniversary event. Born in 1938 in the state of New York, Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most prominent authors in the United States.

Joyce Carol Oates has also been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has written some of the most influential works of our time, including the bestselling novel Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award.

“Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most beloved authors of our time, and it is with great pleasure that we award her the very first Mermaid. Her works have touched and captivated readers worldwide, and we are proud to welcome her to this year’s Book Fair,” says Oskar Ekström, Program Director for Gothenburg Book Fair.”

The Mermaid will be presented at a special seminar dedicated to honouring Joyce Carol Oates and her outstanding body of work. The motivation for the award reads:

“She is a literary heavyweight, whose impressive output over six decades has challenged us with questions of violence, sexuality, ethnicity, and family. Her depictions of American dreams and nightmares serve as a universal map of modern human social issues and neuroses. At the same time, her greatest works contain the sometimes-overlooked ingredients that once made the old classics read: They are entertaining tales with stylishly crafted momentum. Sjöjungfrun (The Mermaid) 2024 is awarded to one of the greatest authors of our time – Joyce Carol Oates.”

Read the press notice in its entirety here