Author

Bart Koubaa

Bart Koubaa (b. 1968) is a photographer and writer. In his prose he wishes to capture something of the great bond that links people and the world in general, the great cohesion, a comprehensive vision. His first novel Vuur (‘Fire’, 2000), set among gypsies, was awarded the Flemish debut prize and was widely distributed as part of a campaign to promote reading. Lucht (‘Air’, 2005), is situated partly in Japan and partly in the USA, at the time of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In 2007, Koubaa published Het gebied van Nevski (‘The Nevski Region’) about a writer who falls through the ice on a trip through Russia and has to relearn language as a consequence of brain damage. De leraar (2009) is Koubaa’s fourth novel.

Air

Air

(Querido, 2005, 124 pages)

Kudo Yamamoto, the main character of Bart Koubaa’s second novel Air, drags an eventful past with him. At fifteen years of age he followed his father to the usa. He worked his way up to become a translator for the FBI, but in 1945 made a vital mistake: in hesitating over the imperial idiom, he missed the unconditional capitulation of the Japanese emperor, which resulted in the usa dropping a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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The Teacher

The Teacher

(Querido, 2009, 283 pages)

‘Bart Koubaa’s new novel De leraar (The Teacher) is mainly narrated in the first person by a Dutch-language teacher, advanced in years, nicknamed The Crow. His pupils at the technical school, are not interested in the subject and he has great difficulty in getting them to do anything. Unlike his openly embittered colleagues, he has become resigned in his cynicism and quietly conservative in his opinions. He even absorbs the news that he is suffering from prostate cancer quite meekly. Since the death of his mother, he has lived alone, his father, a military man, had vanished long ago and never re-established contact. The Crow had also been a soldier, a sniper, before he turned to…

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