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Charlotte Mutsaers

Charlotte Mutsaers (b. 1942) is an author and visual artist who has published five novels and several collections of essays and poetry. Best known for her novels Rachels rokje ([Rachel’s Skirt], 1994) and Koetsier Herfst ([Coachman Autumn], 2009), she has won numerous literary awards, including the prestigious P.C. Hooftprijs and the Constantijn Huygens Prize for her complete works. She is widely considered one of the most striking and surprising voices in contemporary Dutch literature.

Rachels rokje

Rachels rokje

(De Bezige Bij, 1994, 310 pagina's)

In her essay collection Kersebloed, Charlotte Mutsaers wrote heartwarming sentences about artists she admires, such as Jules Renard, Francis Ponge, Daniil Charms and Dora Carrington. Her own work, like theirs, is characterized by a certain lightness and playfulness. The attention she once paid to toys, animals, unusual words and no less unusual human behaviours in figurative paintings and wood cuts, and which she now pays to them in plastic prose, could be misconstrued by inattentive readers as being merely naive and humorous. Yet Mutsaers has never skirted around serious subjects. On the contrary. Her unyielding lightness is a ploy designed to crush heaviness, crudeness and ugliness.…

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Zeepijn

Zeepijn

(De Bezige Bij, 1999, 254 pagina's)

Zeepijn is a lively book of sparkling, narrative essays about the sea, pine trees, fish, and fir cones, father, mother, Francis Ponge and Henri Michaux, Christmas and Ostend, the village on the Belgian coast where Mutsaers spent part of her life. It consists of thirty-six short chapters, which assume almost as many different forms. Charlotte Mutsaers’s highly commended, associative and very personal writing style makes Zeepijn a strange and agreeable adventure for the reader.

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Harnas van Hansaplast

Harnas van Hansaplast

(Dasmag, 2017, 312 pagina's)

Charlotte Mutsaers’ new book is dedicated to ‘all members of the family I come from and the house where we lived’. It is an ambiguous declaration of love for a parental nest that produced misfortune and good fortune, mystery and undiluted misery; it is at once a testimony of loyalty and betrayal.

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