Erik Menkveld

Erik Menkveld (1959-2014) has worked as an editor for various publishing houses, for literary journal Tirade and as a programmer at Poetry International. He made his debut as a poet in 1997 met De karpersimulator, which won the C. Buddingh’-prijs and the Lucy B. en C.W. van der Hoogtprijs. This was followed by his collections Schapen nu! (2001) and Prime time (2005), which were also well received. Het grote zwijgen (‘The Great Silence’, 2011) was his debut as a novelist. It won him the Academica Literatuurprijs 2012.

The Great Silence

The Great Silence

(G.A. van Oorschot, 2011, 360 pages)

Erik Menkveld has made an impressive debut with a historical novel set in the Amsterdam music scene of the 1910s. The main characters are composer Alfons Diepenbrock and his wife Elisabeth. Diepenbrock is also involved with another woman, Jo. Another prominent character is Matthijs Vermeulen, Diepenbrock’s protégé, who initially works as a music reviewer. The portrayal of these characters lends Het grote zwijgen all the allure of a classic psychological novel, in which the love of music permeates everything.

Read more