Author

Peter Terrin

Peter Terrin (b. 1968) wrote his debut, a collection of short stories titled De code (The Code), in 1998. After his first novel, Kras (Scratch, 2001), he broke through with Blanco (Blank, 2003), about a man who loses his wife due to a car-jacking. In Vrouwen en kinderen eerst (Women and Children First, 2004) a team of engineers and workmen disassembling a conveyor belt in a deserted factory confront a lifeless but inflexible opponent in indefinable, inhospitable surroundings, creating an ominous atmosphere. With it, Peter Terrin placed himself forever at the forefront of Flemish literature. In 2006, he published the collection of short stories, De bijeneters (The Bee Eaters). De bewaker, nominated for the Libris Literature Prize, confirms his talent as a stylist and a creator.

Blanco

Blanco

(De Arbeiderspers, 2003, 185 pages)

In Peter Terrin’s first three novels, emotions are expressed largely in terms of alienation and oppression. In Women and Children First (2004), a team of engineers and technicians have to dismantle a tile production line in an abandoned factory abroad. They stay in a rundown hotel in a Kafkaesque existential isolation. In Crass (2001), three men, almost seventy years old, rape the lively young cleaning lady of their apartment block and then flee, unbridled and reckless. The transition from a normal life to complete disorder, caused by unexpected and unsuspected motives, is again the theme of Blanco, the novel which provides the best introduction to Peter Terrin’s work.…

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The Guard

The Guard

(De Arbeiderspers, 2009, 256 pages)

Peter Terrin’s new novel, De bewaker (The Guard), is set largely in the underground car park of a huge luxury apartment block. Two guards, manager Harry and narrator Michel, are there to ensure the occupants’ safety. They are never relieved, but once in a while ‘the organisation’ brings them new supplies. Their assumption that the outside world has been hit by major disaster or a war is strengthened when all residents save one flee the building. Entirely isolated and living in severe circumstances, they are nevertheless totally absorbed in their task.

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Post Mortem

Post Mortem

(De Arbeiderspers, 2012, 283 pages)

Post Mortem, a new highlight in his work, is the first of Terrin’s novels to be centred on a dramatic event in his own life. The book is a crafty interplay of imagination and reality, taking the reader on a trip through a literary hall of mirrors. A surprising narrative situation is at the root of this literary tour de force.

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