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A Dutch poet will not translate Amanda Gorman’s work after facing criticism that it would be inappropriate for a white person to do so.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld announced on Twitter that they would be translating the works. Gorman retweeted the announcement. But Rijneveld, the youngest author to win the International Booker Prize, for the novel “The Discomfort of Evening,” decided to step down from the role Friday.
“I’m shocked by the uproar around my involvement in the dissemination of Amanda Gorman’s message, and I understand people who feel hurt by the choice,” Rijneveld said in a Twitter statement.
Among those who criticized the decision was the Dutch cultural activist and journalist Janice Deul.
In an opinion piece for the newspaper de Volkskrant, she said: “Not to take anything away from Rijneveld’s qualities, but why not choose a writer who is — just like Gorman — a spoken-word artist, young, female, and unapologetically Black?”
The Dutch translation of “The Hill We Climb” was to be published in late March by the Amsterdam-based publisher Meulenhoff, the Associated Press reported.