Author

Lieve Joris

Lieve Joris (b. 1953), who was born in Belgium and lives in Amsterdam, is one of Europe’s leading non-fiction writers. She has written an award-winning book on Hungary, De melancholieke revolutie (The Melancholy Revolution, 1990), and has published widely acclaimed reports of her journeys in the Middle East and Africa, notably the Congo. Her books about the Middle East include De Golf (The Gulf, 1986) and De poorten van Damascus (The Gates of Damascus, 1993). About the Congo she wrote four books: Terug naar Congo (Back to the Congo, 1987), Dans van de luipaard (The Leopard’s Dance, 2001), Het uur van de rebellen (The Rebels’ Hour, 2006) and De hoogvlaktes (The High Plains, 2008). The account of her travels through Senegal, Mauretania and Mali, Mali Blues (1996), gained Joris the Belgian triennial award for Flemish prose (1999) and the French ‘Prix de l’Astrolabe’. For the French edition of De hoogvlaktes (Les Hauts Plateaux, 2009) Joris was awarded the Prix Nicolas Bouvier. In 2010 she published Mijn Afrikaanse telefooncel (My African Phone Booth), a collection of stories.

Mali Blues and Other Stories

Mali Blues and Other Stories

(Augustus, 1996, 312 pages)

In the essay Een kamer in Cairo (A Room in Cairo) that she published some years ago, Lieve Joris explained her difficulty in finding the right form in which to put her travel experiences on paper. The liberating moment came when she realised, partly through meeting such travel authors as Naipaul and Kapuściński, that she must distance herself from the journalistic motto of objectivity. Precisely by presenting herself as a Westerner, she elevates her travel pieces above mere journalism.

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The Leopard’s Dance

The Leopard’s Dance

(Augustus, 2001, 448 pages)

A century has passed since Joseph Conrad wrote his Heart of Darkness, yet the Congo is still as hard to fathom as ever. All the problems of post-colonial Africa seem to rage there in exaggerated form. Ten years after her highly praised Back to the Congo, Lieve Joris was brave enough to return during a particularly precarious moment in Congolese history.

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Translations

Website

http://www.lievejoris.nl/