Author

Geerten Meijsing

Geerten Meijsing (b. 1950) made his debut in the seventies with an ambitious trilogy devoted to literature, painting, and music. He won the AKO Literature Prize in 1988 with the novel Veranderlijk en wisselvallig (Fickle and Inconstant). Its pendant, Altijd de vrouw (Always the woman) appeared in 1991. Subsequent books by Meijsing include The grachtengordel (Inner Circles) and The ongeschreven leer (The Unwritten Doctrine). In 1998 Meijsing attracted considerable attention with his autobiographical novel Tussen mes en keel (Knife to the throat), in which he wrote candidly about his earlier depression. The book was shortlisted for the Libris Literature Prize, and led to much discussion in the media about the role of psychiatry.

Always the Woman

Always the Woman

(De Arbeiderspers, 1991, 289 pages)

“Woman is ever fickle and changeable? wrote Virgil in the Aeneid, and Meijsing uses this quote as a thread running through what he calls his ‘double-decker’. In the first part, Veranderlijk en wisselvallig (‘Fickle and Changeable’), he describes how the hero succumbs to melancholy when the writers’ collective breaks up after finishing their trilogy (!), how he cheats on his pregnant wife five times, and how he finally brings his young daughter to an Italian cloister school.

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Between Knife and Throat

Between Knife and Throat

(De Arbeiderspers, 1997, 398 pages)

In Tussen mes en keel, Geerten Meijsing balances high-brow philosophy with apparent banality. At the start of the book the narrator has a knife at his throat. He wants to take his own life because his girlfriend has rejected him and he feels misunderstood as a writer. The masterpiece that he has finally managed to complete, helped by a course of antidepressants, has been greeted by universal critical silence.

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Malocchio

Malocchio

(De Arbeiderspers, 2003, 271 pages)

Malocchio by Geerten Meijsing is a melancholy, malicious, and yet romantic novel about a writer called Erik Provenier who lives in a tumbledown casa colonica in Lucca, in an almost symbiotic relationship with his daughter Chiara. Meijsing himself lived for years on an estate near Lucca, until he was forced to leave following a violent altercation with his narrow-minded aristocratic landlord. Several of the novels which he published under the pseudonym Joyce & Co. were written there. The dilapidated house set among the breathtaking Tuscan hills also formed the backdrop for Meijsing’s elegant and erudite double novel Fickle and Inconstant and Always the Woman (1991).…

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