Author

Yves Petry

Yves Petry (b. 1967) studied Mathematics and Philosophy. He wrote his remarkable debut, Het jaar van de man (The Year of the Man) – about a young anti-hero leading a lethargic existence – in 1999. With Gods eigen muziek (God’s Own Music) it became clear that this was an author with an unusual view of the nature and emotions of man. De laatste woorden van Leo Wekeman (The Last Words of Leo Wekeman, 2003) is set in the competitive world of journalism. For his novel De achterblijver (The Straggler, 2006), about artificial intelligence and human emotions, Petry received the Dutch BNG Nieuwe Literatuurprijs. His latest novel, De maagd Marino (The Virgin Marino, 2010) was awarded the prestigious Libris Literatuurprijs in 2011.

Year of the Man

Year of the Man

(De Bezige Bij, 1999, 184 pages)

Het jaar van de man, the debut of Flemish writer Yves Petry, begins with the setting of autumn portrayed explicitly as a suddenly erupting disease. Clouds are ‘a grey mass, its whole length and breadth covered in purplish lumps, tumbling down on all that ventured into the open.’ And further on: ‘The earth was raped. Spluttered forth from below, spewing mud, and grass, and her last flowers.’ This is how autumn is greeted by the main character in the book, Helm Steen.

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The Last Words of Leo Wekeman

The Last Words of Leo Wekeman

(De Bezige Bij, 2003, 256 pages)

Leo Wekeman, a journalist writing for a liberal newspaper, lays his experience and reputation on the line for a chance to interview the president of the United States, who is passing through the country. But Wekeman is in a bad way, after five years of marriage his wife is leaving him. Moreover, the editor-in-chief is much enamoured of the spunky new reporter Xavier Kingston, and gives the assignment to him.

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The Straggler

The Straggler

(De Bezige Bij, 2006, 286 pages)

Yves Petry studied mathematics and philosophy and this might be why his characters challenge received ideas and common values. They seem to delight in pointing out the false or superfluous aspects of phenomena such as identity, religion, love, sexuality, and ambition. Petry’s latest novel, De achterblijver (The Straggler), surpasses his three previous novels in composition, style and maturity.

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The Virgin Marino

The Virgin Marino

(De Bezige Bij, 2010, 288 pages)

De maagd Marino (The Virgin Marino), Yves Petry’s fifth novel, is his most characteristic and ambitious to date. Petry derived his theme from a shocking murder case in Germany – a man asked his friend to castrate him, kill him and eat parts of him.

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Translations

Website

http://www.yvespetry.com/