Author

Nelleke Noordervliet

Nelleke Noordervliet (b. 1945) made her debut with Tine of De dalen waar het leven woont (Tine or The Valleys Where Life Lives, 1987), a fictionalized biography of the wife of nineteenth-century Dutch writer Multatuli. She further published the novels Millemorti (1989), Het oog van de engel (The Eye of the Angel, 1991), De naam van de vader (The Name of the Father, 1993), which was awarded the Multatuli Prize and nominated for the Aristeion European Literature Prize 1994, Uit het paradijs (Paradise Lost, 1997), Pelican Bay (2002) and Snijpunt (Intersection, 2008). Vrij man (Free Man, 2012) is her ninth novel. Noordervliet also writes short stories, essays and criticism. In Altijd roomboter (Always Real Butter, 2005), a blend of memoir, historiography, fiction and essay, she sketches her great-grandmother’s life and times.

The Eye of the Angel

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 1991, 263 pages)

Noordervliet sets her novel in the time around the French Revolution. The beautiful young woman from Haarlem, Elisabeth Lestevenon, her father who is a printer and his other deaf-mute daughter, Maaike, flee to France as those supporting the Prince get dangerously close. On their arrival their father dies leaving the sisters to fend for themselves. Elisabeth is an unusual woman. She hungers for knowledge (which was, in those days, the prerogative of men) without being able to suppress her lustful cravings. As her left eye is larger than her right, she has a strange expression. In this way Noordervliet strikes a pact with the reader in a masterful manner so that her heroine sees the world…

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Paradise Lost

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 1997, 318 pages)

In an interview last year Nelleke Noordervliet said that she had always felt an outsider since childhood. It is no accident that the tension between withdrawal and commitment has been a major constant in the work of this prominent Dutch novelist. In Uit het paradijs too the narrator struggles with the conflicting need for a reclusive life free of family ties and his desire to engage actively with his role as a son, brother and father.

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Pelican Bay

Pelican Bay

(Augustus, 2002, 409 pages)

After her father’s death writer Ada van de Wetering is left burdened with feelings of guilt. Did she really make her adopted brother Antonio’s life so miserable that he returned to the Carribean when he was eighteen? Had Ada threatened him with a knife during a vacation in France? She can’t remember. Ada gets on an airplane to find out the truth. A second reason for her trip is that one of her ancestors, Jacob Rivers owned a plantation on the island. She doesn’t know much about him except that his pregnant wife was murdered – a crime for which an innocent slave was hanged.

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Free Man

Free Man

(Augustus, 2012, 464 pages)

In Free Man, Nelleke Noordervliet makes full use of the freedom that a storyteller has. In the novel’s opening scene she describes her own encounter with her protagonist at the Dutch Reformed Church in Woodstock, New York. Together with this man, Menno Molenaar, who is lost in the 21st century, she travels back to the 17th-century Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.

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At the End of the Day

At the End of the Day

(Atlas Contact, 2016, 347 pages)

Nelleke Noordervliet’s latest novel, At the End of the Day, opens with a well-known photograph of the Swiss-German writer Robert Walser, who was found dead in the snow on Christmas Day 1956. Seeing the photo casts Katharina Mercedes Donker’s mind back to that same day in her own life.

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Translations

Website

http://www.nellekenoordervlie…