Hugo Claus (1929-2008) ranks as the most important Flemish writer after the Second World War. In addition to his literary work, he has been active as a painter and a movie maker. In the fifties he belonged to the avant-garde artists who were active in Paris. His wide-ranging oeuvre consists of novels, stories, poems, plays, and film scripts. His masterpiece is Het verdriet van België (The Sorrow of Belgium, 1983), a massive Bildungsroman which takes place against a black page in the history of Belgium: the collaboration with the German occupier. Claus has received many important domestic and foreign prizes, among which, in 1986, the Dutch Literature Prize (Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren), the most important literary honor in the Dutch language. In 1997 he received the Libris Literature Prize for De geruchten (The Rumours).