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Oek de Jong

Oek de Jong (b. 1952) made his debut with a collection of short stories, De hemelvaart van Massimo (Massimo’s Ascension, 1976), for which he was given the Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize for young writers. He enjoyed his real breakthrough in 1979 with the novel Opwaaiende zomerjurken (Billowing…

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Books (5)

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Circle in the Grass

Oek de Jong’s prime preoccupation, the desire for a harmonious life – whether or not through art – is repeated in this novel set in Italy in the late seventies, gripped by the horror of the kidnap and murder of the politician Aldo Moro. One of its ideas is that whoever strives for a Buddhist…

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A Man Leaping Into the Future

It is difficult to define precisely what the term ‘essay’ means. Montaigne would have been amazed to see how newspaper articles, meditations and even columns, once collected, are suddenly labelled ‘essays’. Yet everyone has some idea of what the ideal essay should be: a well thought-out…

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Hokwerda’s Child

In the late 1970s, Oek de Jong’s debut, Opwaaiende zomerjurken (Billowing Summer Dresses), became a genuine cult book for a whole generation of students. It was followed by the beautiful ‘Roman’ novel Cirkel in het gras (Circle in the Grass), after which silence reigned. The announced…

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Billowing Summer Frocks

In the first part of Billowing Summer Frocks we are introduced to eight-year-old Edo Mesch during a languid summer in rural Zeeland. He clings to his mother, but he also torments her. His squint keeps him indoors and away from his friends. Angry and proud, he spends his days sailing the imaginary…

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Pier and Ocean

In this monumental novel, Oek de Jong tells the story of Dina Houttuyn and her son, Abel Roorda. He shows that no one is born without a history and that our lives are influenced by those of our parents and ancestors. This portrayal of the still sober mentality of the post-war Netherlands is painted…

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J.M. Meulenhoff

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