Author

David van Reybrouck

David van Reybrouck (1971) studied archaeology and philosophy at Leuven University. He has a master’s degree in World Archaeology from Cambridge and obtained a doctorate from the University of Leiden in 2000. Today, he is a cultural historian affiliated with the Catholic University of Leuven and works as a freelancer for the Belgian daily newspaper, De Morgen. He won the Belgian Literary Debut Prize with De plaag in 2002.

The Plague

The Plague

Het stille knagen van schrijvers, termieten en Zuid-Afrika

(Meulenhoff | Manteau, 2001, 302 pages)

While working on his thesis on prehistoric architecture, David van Reybrouck comes across the accusation that the Belgian writer and Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck had plagiarised from the work of the South African author, journalist and physicist Eugène Marais, in his book La vie des termites (1926). He decides to investigate the case himself.

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Congo

Congo

(De Bezige Bij, 2010, 680 pages)

Like many Belgians of his generation, David Van Reybrouck knew Congo from stories of the old days: his own father worked there in the 1960s. However, he only came to understand how the history of that country really worked as he carried out his research for this monumental book about the former colony in the heart of Africa. He focused on the lives of its inhabitants, interviewing over 500 people. The result is an amalgam of testimonies that presents a new picture of how the people of Congo suffered so much and yet remained unchanged.

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