Writer-in-residence Saskia de Coster spent spring 2007 in the Spui apartment. In 2002, De Coster (b. 1976) made her literary debut with Vrije val (Free Fall), which was published by Prometheus. Her subsequent novels were Jeuk (Itch) in 2004 and Eeuwige Roem (Undying Fame) in 2006.
Saskia de Coster is also “business manager” of her own limited company: “Bekki Catering Services”, specialists in catering to mind and spirit. She is also active as a columnist, playwright and occasionally as screenwriter. During her stay in Amsterdam, Saskia de Coster planned to work on the manuscript of her next book, De ongelukkigste mens ter wereld (The Unhappiest Person in the World). She hoped to find the ideal combination of isolation and discovery by travelling alone by foot through the history of Amsterdam. “Tourism is the worst way to get to know a city. The best way is to spend some time there.” Read her report here to see if she succeeded.
Part of De Coster’s last book, Eeuwige Roem, was written in New York. Far away from social and business obligations in Belgium, she was able to focus on her work and on the city. During her free moments, she explored the town. Her wanderings filtered down into the manuscript of Eeuwige Roem, and contributed to the book’s dynamic character.
On May 10 the yearly Pen Poetry Night opened with a speech by De Coster on the relation between city, literature, culture and freedom. May 15 De Coster participated in the programme Flemish Nights, Are The Belgians Better.