Tip Marugg

Silvio Alberto Marugg, known as Tip, was born Willemstad, Curaçao, in 1923, and spent two years in Venezuela as a boy. In 1942 he joined the military, later becoming an officer. After the war he worked for Shell in Curaçao until 1973. He wrote his three novels at long intervals, also publishing a volume of poetry, Afschuw van licht; gedichten 1946-1951 (Horror of Light: Poems, 1946-1951; 1976). He received the Cola Debrot Prize for The Roar of Morning and was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. Tip Marugg was called ‘the island’s thinnest shadow’ because of his lanky frame. He led a reclusive existence, avoiding the public eye, although one colourful article described his life in a remote house surrounded by dogs, with a pistol on his bedside table. He died, solitary and blind, in 2006. His collected work was published three years later under the title De hemel is van korte duur (Heaven Doesn’t Last), along with a collection of anecdotes and stories edited by the journalist Petra Possel, Niemand is een eiland (No One Is an Island).

The Roar of Morning

The Roar of Morning

(De Bezige Bij, 1988, 138 pages)

Tip Marugg was the hermit of Curaçao, an island in the Netherlands Antilles, and the author of a small body of excep­tionally fine literary work. His novels show the touch of a master stylist who transforms his themes – death, night, the grim fate of the alcoholic, and loneliness – into unparalleled literature.

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