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Benny Lindelauf

Benny Lindelauf (b. 1964) teaches creative writing to adults and children. From his debut book on, Omhooggevallen, which was a witty story about a girl with a vivid imagination, he has had a noticeably authentic style as well as content. The promise of the first book was confirmed with Schuilen in een jas, a stirring story about love and sickness. The book made the shortlist of The Golden Owl, a prestigious Flemish literary prize. Imagination, wit and drama are crucial ingredients woven together in an exceptional way. Lindelauf once said: ‘Writing is actually like moving from one house to the next over and over again’. With Negen open armen Benny Lindelauf has won the Thea Beckmann Award 2004, the prize for the best historical juvenile book published in 2003.

Negen Open Armen

Negen Open Armen

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2004, 250 pagina's)

It is the end of August 1937, nine people – father, grandmother, four sons and three daughters – leave for what seems to be the end of the world: Sjlammbams Sahara, a place outside the safe walls of the city. Father is a man who does all kinds of odd jobs and none of them well but he is hopeful and full of love. Grandmother courageously carries her bag made from crocodile leather full of pictures and stories.

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De hemel van Heivisj

De hemel van Heivisj

(Querido, 2010, 320 pagina's)

Just outside a village in Limburg stands a house with the name of Nine Open Arms, so called because if its nine residents open their arms wide, they can hug all the way around it. Fing lives there in the late 1930s with her four brothers, two sisters, their dad and Grandma Mei. It’s an almost fairytale place that is brimming with stories. And often it’s not entirely clear whether these stories come from the imagination of Grandma Mei and the children or whether they really happened.

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Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor

Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor

(Querido, 2016, 240 pagina's)

This is a book that deserves a large international audience for its subject matter alone. With a great deal of humour, Benny Lindelauf describes a pointless war of the kind that could have taken place not all that long ago, not all that far away. Are we reading about the American civil war? Or are these scuffles and skirmishes Napoleonic? For the soldiers, it does not really matter: at the appointed time, they meet up to fight, and sometimes one army loses, sometimes the other.

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