Gerrit Kouwenaar (1923 - 2014) was one of the giants of Dutch postwar literature. He was part of the Vijftigers (‘Fifties’) literary movement associated with the CoBrA art collective, which effected the modernisation of Dutch poetry from 1948 onwards. In the early 1950s, Kouwenaar wrote three novels about the Second World War, challenging the cheap heroism that had characterised accounts of the occupation to that point. His work was honoured with all the major literary awards, including the P.C. Hooft Award and the Dutch Literature Prize.