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F.B. Hotz

F.B. Hotz (1922-2000) started to write in the early 1950s, but never dreamed he would ever be published. At that time he was a trombonist in a jazz combo. In the late 1950s he stopped making music, anxious to avoid becoming the oldest swinger in town. Hotz laboured for twenty years at improving his work yet remained deeply pessimistic. When finally, after much egging on by friends, he sent the story ‘De tramrace’ (The Tram Race) to a literary magazine, it caused a stir of excitement in the editorial team: never before had they seen such an accomplished debut. Twenty years later, in 1996, Hotz stopped publishing. ‘A writer has to know when to stop,’ was his reasoning. He was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the Netherlands. In 1997, a beautiful boxed set was published under the title of Het werk (Complete Works). The two volumes include six collections of stories, a novella and the novel De vertekening (Distortion, 1991).

Het werk

(De Arbeiderspers, 1997)

Over a period of twenty years, F.B. Hotz produced a wonderful body of work which occupies a prominent place in Dutch letters. In a crystal-clear style and with razor sharp observations, Hotz evokes a world of flamboyant layabouts, anxious door-to-door salesmen with families to support, and jazz musicians who live only for their music. In these consummate stories everything revolves around balance. Guilt must be bought off with sacrifices. To create something beautiful, ‘something light, something over which time and unhappiness have no dominion,’ was, in Hotz’s eyes, the greatest gift.

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Mannen spelen, vrouwen winnen

Mannen spelen, vrouwen winnen

(De Arbeiderspers, 2011, 384 pagina's)

F.B. Hotz was one of the Netherlands’ greatest short-story writers. After his late literary debut in the mid-seventies, he quickly garnered acclaim for his meticulous and polished style.

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