Besides being the author of, among other things, De Plaag: het stille knagen van schrijvers, termieten en Zuid-Afrika (The Plague: the Silent Gnawing of Writers, Termites and South Africa) and the dramatic monologue Die Siel van die Mier (The Soul of the Ant), David van Reybrouck (b. 1971) is also an archaeologist and cultural historian.
David van Reybrouck divides his time between the worlds of science, journalism and letters, and writes prose, drama, essays and poetry. In Amsterdam he worked on his first book of poetry about the region of Flanders where he was born: a greater distance from the place itself, he felt, facilitated writing about it. But because Van Reybrouck is concerned about the growing cultural gap between Flanders and the Netherlands, he has also taken part in public debate on that issue. At the Flemish Cultural Centre “De Brakke Grond” he had the opportunity to do precisely that.
In Amsterdam Van Reybrouck also finished his new novel Slagschaduw (The Shadow Cast). It was published by Meulenhoff in spring 2007 and the book presentation appropriately took place at Athenaeum Booksellers. Finally he participated in literature festivals (www.crossingborder.nl) and met with students from the University of Amsterdam to discuss his work.
From his report: “The past months, I have felt like a guest in your country. This period has been extremely rich in an intellectual and a literary sense. Besides the occasional waves of lethargy, inherently connected to every creative process in exile, I experienced moments of great artistic productivity and pure intellectual bliss. I have learned a great deal here, more than you Dutch could ever learn from me. For this generosity I sincerely thank you.”