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Marja Brouwers

Marja Brouwers (b. 1948) grew up in the southwest of Holland. ‘I don’t come from the kind of social background where people read books,’ she declared in an interview. At the age of sixteen she was already earning her own living as a switchboard operator and typist in a lawyers’ office. She then studied English and was a teacher for ten years. Her first novel, Havinck (1984), is the rather ironic story of a successful lawyer whose wife commits suicide and who then has to deal with his adolescent daughter. This successful novel was reprinted several times and made into a film by Frans Weisz in 1987. Brouwers’s next two novels, De Feniks: een familiekroniek (The Phoenix: A Family Chronicle, 1985) and De lichtjager (Light Chaser, 1990), were also about people who remain strangers to each other all their lives. In 2004 she published the novel Casino, a biting portrait of the hedonistic consumer society of the 1990s.

Havinck

Havinck

(De Bezige Bij, 1984, 180 pagina's)

Havinck describes fifteen days in the life of an Amsterdam lawyer named Robert Havinck. He has just cremated his wife, who, it quickly becomes apparent, had taken her own life by purposely causing an accident. This fact forces him to reconsider his marriage and life despite his reluctance to do so.

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De Lichtjager

De Lichtjager

(De Bezige Bij, 1990, 325 pagina's)

‘I am always very suspicious of intellectuals’, Marja Brouwers once said in an interview and this attitude is amply demonstrated in her books. In Havinck it was a chilling portrait of a lawyer, in Light Chaser it is an art historian, an aggressive alcoholic who is hardly described in flattering terms. His name is Paul de Braak and he has worked for fifteen years at a provincial university outside Chicago. Now he returns to Amsterdam. He has two failed marriages behind him and does not seem to give his life a sense of purpose by, for example, attaching himself to some art movement or côterie. He is found dead in the Ardennes. Showing how he arrived at this sad end is the purpose of the…

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Casino

Casino

(De Bezige Bij, 2004, 553 pagina's)

‘The great novel of the nineties that no Dutch writer has yet dared to attempt,’ enthused one reviewer of Casino. Another cheered, ‘the engagé novel is back!’, adding, ‘the most important novel published in Dutch in a long time.’

Because of its scope, plot, style and daring structure, Casino is a book that you can’t ignore.

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