Connie Palmen

Connie Palmen (b. 1955) studied Dutch and philosophy. She shot to fame with her first novel 'De wetten' (The Laws, 1991).

Photo: Annaleen Louwes

Her two subsequent novels De vriendschap (The Friendship, 1995) and I.M. (1998) followed her debut onto the bestsellers list. She went on to publish Geheel de uwe (Sincerely Yours, 2004), Lucifer (2007) and Logboek van een onbarmhartig jaar (Log Book of a Merciless Year, 2011). Palmen has also written several collections of essays, like Een kleine filosofie van de moord (A Short Philosophy of Murder, 2004) and Het geluk van de eenzaamheid (The Joy of Loneliness, 2009). She was awarded the AKO Literature Prize for De vriendschap and the Libris Literature Prize for You Said It. Her work has been translated into twenty languages.

More Connie Palmen

Connie Palmen

The Laws

Connie Palmen’s alter ego Marie Deniet, the central character of her debut novel, sets out in search of concepts such as identity and the origins of the story. Her quest is described through meetings with seven men who each have a specific form of knowledge and experience: an astrologer, an epileptic, a philosopher, a priest, a physicist, an artist and a psychiatrist.

Connie Palmen

The Friendship

A thirty-year-old psychologist-philosopher recoils from the indigestible and inaccessible language of academia. Instead of her dissertation she writes a letter to her bosom friend. Her studies concern everyone, not just an elite. ‘Writing is giving your mind another body,’ she writes, ‘so why shouldn’t that body be an attractive one?’ This twenty-page literary letter is the surprising conclusion of the three-part novel 'De vriendschap'.

Connie Palmen


Shortly after the publication of her first novel, 'De wetten' (The Laws, 1991), Connie Palmen met the notorious interviewer and journalist Ischa Meijer. It was love at first sight. The success of Palmen’s début and her love affair with a celebrity made her a public figure overnight. February 1995 saw the appearance of her second novel 'De vriendschap', but a few weeks previously fate had struck a dreadful blow when Ischa Meijer died of a heart attack. Palmen’s new documentary novel 'I.M.' (Ischa Meijer, In Memoriam, In Margine) covers these four years of her life.

Connie Palmen

You Said It

After Ted Hughes left her for another woman, Sylvia Plath killed herself. She became a martyr and a saint; he was branded a murderer and a monster. Hughes did little to dispel this version of events. In this novel, written as a dramatic monologue worthy of a poet laureate, Connie Palmen gives Hughes a voice to tell his side of the story.

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