Author

Frank Martinus Arion

Frank Martinus Arion (1936-2015, b. Curaçao) was a poet and a novelist. He came to Holland to study Dutch language and literature in 1955, and returned to his home island in 1981 to become head of the Curaçao Language Institute which promotes the use and recognition of Papiamento, a pidgin language of the Antilles. He published the novels Dubbelspel (Double Game, 1973, awarded with the Van der Hoogt Prize), Afscheid van de koningin (Goodbye to the Queen, 1975), Nobele wilden (Noble Savages, 1979), De laatste vrijheid (The Last Freedom, 1995) and De deserteurs (The Deserters, 2006).

Double Play

Double Play

(De Bezige Bij, 1973, 365 pages)

In his books Frank Martinus Arion tries to provide readers with ‘critical knowledge about reality’, while at the same time getting them ‘so immersed in the book that they forget about the food they have cooking on the stove’. By these standards, Double Play (1973) is a resounding success.

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The Last Freedom

(De Bezige Bij, 1995, 363 pages)

Arion’s 1973 first novel, Dubbelspel (Double Play), was a great success in the Netherlands and is still seen as a significant contribution to Dutch-language literature. Now, after sixteen years of literary silence, Arion has finally published a new novel. ‘I’m not interested in just writing a beautiful story. I need to have a lot of stock in trade before I can do anything with it,’ he once said in an interview. The long wait has been productive: De laatste vrijheid (‘The Last Freedom’) is substantial and stimulating, its characters raise questions of ecological, interpersonal and intercontinental importance. Above all, it is another admirable literary achievement. Arion’s work…

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