Lieve Joris (author, Belgium)

Lieve Joris is one of Europe’s leading travel writers. She has written an award-winning book on Hungary, The Melancholy Revolution (1990), and has published widely acclaimed reports of her journeys in the Middle East and Africa, notably DR Congo. Her books about the Middle East include The Gates of Damascus (1993). About Congo she wrote Back to the Congo (1987), Dance of the Leopard (2001), The Rebels’ Hour (2006) and The High Plains (2008). The account of her travels through Senegal, Mauretania and Mali, Mali Blues (1996), gained her the Belgian triennial award for Flemish prose (1999) and the French Prix de l’Astrolabe. For Les Hauts Plateaux (2008) she was awarded the Prix Nicolas Bouvier. In her newest book On The Wings of The Dragon (2013), she journeys between Africa and China. Her books have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Norwegian, Hungarian and Polish.


Creating truths

  • It’s an illusion to think that ‘true stories’ tell anything other than the truth of the author. As we write, we create truths, based on our perceptions. As soon as the author starts writing, he condenses and reshapes events. That’s what writing is all about. The mere act of writing is artificial. All writing recreates and thus distorts reality.
  • Tell your readers how you proceeded, be open and clear about it so the non-fiction police won’t pursue you.