By the time P.F. Thomése (b. 1958) won the AKO Literature Prize in 1991 for his novella collection Zuidland (Southland, 1990), he had already earned a reputation as a meticulous stylist with a sophisticated sense of humour, and an impassioned advocate of the primacy of the imagination in literature. In the course of his career he has developed an astounding range, from the intensely personal Schaduwkind (Shadow Child, 2003) – his literary response to the death of his young daughter – and the romantic tragedy De weldoener (A Girl of His Own, 2010) to the biting political satire of Vladiwostok! (2007) and the sleazy slapstick of J. Kessels: The Novel (2009). In 2015 he published The Underwater Swimmer.