Author

Guus Kuijer

Guus Kuijer (b. 1942) is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers for both children and adults. Countless children have grown up with his Madelief and Polleke series. He has won numerous major awards and his work has been widely translated, with several of his books being adapted for the stage. The Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of The Book of Every­thing has enjoyed enormous success in Australia and around the world. His work for adults includes Hoe een klein rotgodje God vermoordde (How A Small Little God Murdered God, 2006) and Hoe word ik gelukkig? (How To Be Happy, 2009). In 2012 Kuijer won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his children’s writing and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the AKO Literature Prize for The Bible for Unbelievers.

The Madelief book

The Madelief book

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1975, 405 pages)

In one of the first stories in the first Madelief book, Met de poppen gooien (Throwing Dolls), Madelief and Roos talk about the toilet. The rather prim Roos is embarrassed by the subject, whilst tomboy Madelief tries to kid her that she and her mother don’t even have a toilet. But then they ring Madelief’s doorbell and hear her mother call out ‘wait a moment!’, followed by the roar of a flushing loo. End of story.

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Scratches on the Tabletop

Scratches on the Tabletop

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1978, 101 pages)

When Daisy’s Grandma dies, the girl realises to her surprise that she barely knew her and that her mother does not seem particularly upset. Daisy goes to stay with her kind, sensible Grandad, to cheer him up a bit in his loneliness. There begins the search for the woman who was her grandmother. Like a cunning, dogged detective, bit by bit she pieces together what has never been talked about in the family and why.

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The Bible for Unbelievers

The Bible for Unbelievers

(Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep, 2015, 272 pages)

Any attempt to bring the Bible to a fresh set of readers is a bold undertaking. Guus Kuijer, one of Holland’s best-loved authors for children and adults, steps effortlessly into the light with his own extraordinary retelling, written for a modern-day readership of unbelievers. Three volumes have been published to date, with part four following in autumn 2015.

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