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News (7)

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New Hella Haasse translations successful in England

At the last Frankfurt Book Fair, the Dutch Foundation for Literature presented a Dutch Classics brochure. One of the many titles in it was Oeroeg by Hella S. Haasse. Even though it was written in 1948, it is still considered one of the highlights of her literary career. This fall, Portobello Books…

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Dutch Foundation for Literature’s Translation Prizes 2016

On the name day of St. Jerome, patron saint of all translators, we are pleased to announce the winners of the Dutch Foundation for Literature’s Translation Prizes 2016. This year the prizes go to Alicja Oczko (Dutch – Polish) and the duo Harm Damsma and Niek Miedema (English – Dutch). The…

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Translation Grants for Foreign Publishers

As a result of the first meeting of 2020, 55 grants were awarded to foreign publishers of Dutch literature. The translation grants are intended for the translation of Dutch fiction, children’s books, non-fiction and poetry. In total € 223.555 has been granted for the translation of the…

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World literature: alive, well and doing great business

My first visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair was in 1993 – the year that the Netherlands and Flanders were joint guest of honour at the Buchmesse for the very first time. In those days I was working as a junior for what was then known as the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch…

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Translated Literature in England and America

In publishing circles the famous three per cent number is often mournfully cited: that is how many foreign-language translations are published in Britain and the U.S. as a percentage of the industry’s total output, from gardening books to thrillers, the remaining 97 per cent being homegrown. That…

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Vondel Translation Prize to David Colmer

The Vondel Translation Prize 2013 has been awarded to David Colmer for The Misfortunates, his translation into English of De helaasheid der dingen by Dimitri Verhulst. The jury was made up of British critic Paul Binding (Times Literary Supplement) and translators Sam Garrett and Paul Vincent.…

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Armchair Traveller

If you walk into a Dutch bookshop – there are more than 1.500 in the Netherlands, struggling to survive – as a tourist, you will probably experience the joys of recognition. The inevitable international bestsellers – E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Nicci French, Jonas Jonasson, Stephen King and…

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Events (4)

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Translator Yumiko Kunimori in Japan

Translator Yumiko Kunimori visits Japan for the second time to promote her translation of the novella Oeroeg by Hella S. Haasse (1918-2011), a Dutch classic, and an eyeopening introduction to race relations in the colonial Dutch East Indies , that has been translated into more than 12 languages.…

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Translator Yumiko Kunimori to Japan

Translator Yumiko Kunimori visits Japan to promote her translation of the novella Oeroeg by Hella S. Haasse (1918-2011), a Dutch classic, and an eyeopening introduction to race relations in the colonial Dutch East Indies , that has been translated into more than 12 languages. The Japanese…

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Literary Soul Mates

In cooperation with the Netherlands and Flanders this year’s Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Indonesia, will stage two conversations aimed at heightening interests in each others writers and literature. Author, journalist and translator llija Trojanow will host talks with graphic…

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Jevgenija Jarmysj as WIR in Amsterdam

Jevgenija Jarmysj (1985) is our writer in residence between the 13th and the 25th of February. Commissioned by the literary magazine Inostrannaja Literatura (Foreign Literature), this Ukrainian-Russian writer and translator is putting together a special edition about The Netherlands.…

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Writers (3)

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Rik Launspach

Rik Launspach (b. 1958) is an actor, director and writer. He took part in such TV classics as On Second Thoughts (based on J.J. Voskuil’s novel) and Old Money, and in 1993 he won the Golden Calf award for his role in Oeroeg, based on the book by Hella S. Haasse. Since the late 1990s, Launspach…

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Aleid Truijens

Aleid Truijens (1955) is a literary critic on the broadsheet De Volkskrant. She has also reviewed literature for NRC Handelsblad and the weekly magazine Elsevier. Truijens has written several books about journalism, published monographs about the authors Hella S. Haasse and F.B. Hotz, and…

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Hella S. Haasse

Hella S. Haasse (1918 - 2011) was born in Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school. In 1945 she debuted with a collection of poems, entitled Stroomversnelling (Momentum). She made her name three years later with the novella given out to mark the Dutch Book…

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Books (13)

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Xenia, achttien jaar, heeft een tijd door Europa gezworven en komt aan op het Centraal Station van Amsterdam. Iks (zoals ze zichzelf noemt) hoopt onderdak te vinden bij haar vrienden Alma en Daan, die ze voor haar omzwervingen achterliet in de stad. Die hoop wordt al snel de bodem ingeslagen.…

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Fenrir: A Long Weekend in the Ardennes

Hella Haasse’s popularity with a wide range of readers may have contributed to her not being included in the list of great post-war Dutch authors; nevertheless she does deserve a place among the likes of Claus, Hermans and Mulisch. Regardless of the genre in which she writes, she has always…

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The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories

In 2005 Joost Zwagerman gathered the very best short stories by Dutch and Flemish writers in a monumental anthology numbering almost 1,600 pages. Unlike English speaking countries and elsewhere, the Netherlands had never held the short story in very high regard. Zwagerman’s intention was to give…

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Frank and Robert Bramme live in a squat. The brothers grew up at their grand­father’s house after their parents died young. The grandfather has dementia and has been admitted to a nursing home. Managing his affairs and having no money themselves, the brothers find themselves forced to give up…

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The Fourth Wall

The publication of De zwarte met het witte hart (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi) in 1997 established Arthur Japin’s name as a writer. This voluminous, bestselling novel about the tragic story of two Ashanti princes Kwasi and Kwame, who were offered as a gift to King William I in 1837, can compete…

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The Tea Merchants

Hella Haasse is the ‘grande dame’ of Dutch letters. She made her name with lengthy, excellently documented, fast paced historical novels on subjects ranging from the life of Charles d’Orleans in early fifteenthcentury France to the Papal court in Rome (the ‘scarlet city’) a century later.…

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For many Dutch people, Oeroeg was an eyeopening introduction to race relations in the colonial Dutch East Indies. In the brief scope of a novella, Haasse illuminates the fundamental problems of the colonial system.

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The Garden House

Hella S. Haasse is renowned for her historical novels. They are intelligent, exciting, and well-documented; they take the reader by surprise and lead one back, compellingly, to another time and place. When she uses contemporary settings for her novels and stories, she generally writes about…

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The Ways of the Imagination

Another dimension of Haasse’s talent is on display in The Ways of the Imagination, an impressive product of her creative powers in which her evocative prose shimmers with hidden meanings. A truck driver gives a stranded Dutch family a lift to the south of France and, as they drive through the…

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The Scarlet City

Much of Haasse’s work consists of historical novels, a genre eminently suited to her erudition and her subtle, penetrating mind. By opting for historical fiction she is not fleeing the present, but rather voicing her deep conviction that history is what determines the present. In the labyrinthine…

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Eye of the Key

Despite her advanced years, Hella S. Haasse always succeeds magnificently in penning novels that add something new and radical to her majestic oeuvre. Her latest novel has even been hailed by Dutch literary critics as one of the best she has ever written.
In Sleuteloog, Haasse returns to the Dutch…

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The Gardens of Bomarzo

The Gardens of Bomarzo can be read both as a personal essay and as a study in cultural history, but above all it is a historical whodunit. Intrigued by the mysteries surrounding the Parco dei Mostri (Park of the Monsters) in the ancient Italian town of Bomarzo, Hella S. Haasse follows a trail that…

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In a Dark Wood Wandering

In this biography of the 15th-century poet-statesman Charles d’Orléans Haasse blends historical facts with psychological and social interpretation. Behind the family quarrels between the houses of Burgundy and Orleans are people and emotions and she attempts to expose the human motives for…

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Essays (2)

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God's Fingerprint

'If you're lucky, you sometimes come across an intellectual who knows where The Netherlands are when you're abroad,' wrote Gerrit Komrij in the late eighties of the previous century. 'Roughly, at least. Somewhere near Denmark. It's incredibly difficult to explain to such a person that The…

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Between the Individual and Society

Dutch is a language spoken not only by some twenty-five million people living in the Netherlands and Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) but also in Surinam and on the islands of Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba. Authors who write in Dutch can therefore communicate with readers in a variety of…

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