J.M.A. Biesheuvel

J.M.A. Biesheuvel (b. 1939) wrote his debut, the short-story collection In de bovenkooi (In the Upper Berth), in 1972, and it immediately established his reputation. After that, he published a large number of successful story collections and novellas. In 2007 he was awarded the prestigious P.C. Hooft Prize for his complete oeuvre. Biesheuvel has published little new work in the last decade due to depression, but spring 2007 saw the publication of his thematic anthology of sea tales, Zeeverhalen, which came with a CD of him reading some new stories. In 2008 his long-awaited collected works will appear, which will be published in four parts.

Sea Tales

Sea Tales

(G.A. van Oorschot, 2007, 240 pages)

‘Not many readers may have noticed that deep down I’m a writer of sea stories,’ J.M.A. Biesheuvel wrote in the preface to Zeeverhalen (Sea Tales). As usual, it is not clear whether the author is entirely serious, as the majority of his work is set near the water or at sea. One of his most famous stories is the beautiful ‘Moped at Sea’, about a sailor who meets a man with a moped at sea, at night. This anthology of maritime stories, collected from his entire body of work, however, is the best proof that he is indeed ‘a writer of sea stories’.

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