Marie Kessels

Boa, the 1991 debut novel of Marie Kessels (b. 1954), is about a young woman who locks herself into her own house for one summer. Kessels followed this with Een sierlijke duik (‘A Graceful Dive’, 1993). Her third novel, De god met gouden ballen (‘The God with Golden Balls’, 1995) was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize and was reprinted several times. Her three most recent books are not novels, but meditations on love, the mind, the body, eroticism and art. She won the Multatuli Prize for her 1998 book Ongemakkelijke portretten (‘Uneasy Portraits’). Het nietigste (‘The Most Insignificant’), a collection of short, skilful contemplations and reflections, was published in 2002 and Niet vervloekt (‘Not Cursed’) appeared in 2005. Ruw (‘Rough’) is her fourth novel and has been brilliantly received by the press.



(De Bezige Bij, 2009, 207 pages)

Marie Kessels writes novels set inside the often fickle minds of her protagonists who are willing to go to any length to defend their autonomy. The subject of this new novel is blindness. Gemma, the protagonist, is injured in a traffic accident which leaves her sight permanently damaged. ‘It happened so fast that I can hardly remember it. A terrible moment before the blow, then the ear-splitting sound as of an explosion, a noise in which my pain (which must have been there) was lost.’

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