Author

Maria Stahlie

Maria Stahlie (b. 1955) is a powerful and prolific writer, whose work has been nomi­nated for various major literary awards. She won the Annie Romeinprijs in 2005 for her oeuvre. A defining characteristic of Stahlie’s prose, whether in her short stories, as in Sunday Children (1999), or the lengthy novel The Personal Physician (2002), is the way it appeals directly to the imagination, rather than remaining steadfastly realistic. Her themes are as wide and varied – she writes with equal ease about a rebellious teenager and a dentist who drifts away from her family – as her prose style is technically accomplished. This skill makes her work a delight to read. Stahlie is a writer who deserves access to a readership in many more languages.

The Personal Physician

The Personal Physician

(Prometheus, 2002, 595 pages)

Maria Stahlie’s novel The Personal Physician is a bold venture in every sense. It is substantial, with dense narrative and sub-plots, and displaying the author’s obvious delight in the nuances of language. Its protagonist, Muriël Wijnings, is a thirty-year old woman who lost her parents as the result of a tragic car accident. The book’s main theme is Muriël delaying the mourning process by fleeing literally and mentally, occupying herself with other matters.

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The Barber’s Boy

The Barber’s Boy

(Prometheus, 2010, 231 pages)

In The Barber’s Boy, Maria Stahlie opens up the difficult and magical world of 16-year-old Aldo Rossi, the son of Dutch and Italian parents. His grandfather has great hopes for the boy: “You could be the one to correct the way my sons and I always viewed life – as a simple fact, without giving it a moment’s thought… and not as the amazing miracle that it is, a dream that makes wild and strange demands of you…”

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Translations