Hanna Bervoets

Hanna Bervoets (b. 1984) writes novels, essays, and screenplays. Bervoets won the 2009 Debut of the Year Award for her first novel, 'Of Hoe Waarom' (Or, How, Why).

Photo: Hanna de Puy

Her second book, Lieve Céline (Dear Céline), was awarded the 2012 Opzij Literature Prize for best book by a female author. She made her breakthrough as novelist with the acclaimed bestseller Alles wat er was (Everything There Was). Her next novel, Efter, was nominated for several prestigious prizes and the film rights were sold. In January 2017, she was won two literary awards: the BNG Prize for Ivanov and the F. Kellendonk Prize for her novels. Her eighth novel, Welkom in het rijk der zieken (Welcome to the Kingdom of the Sick), was released in June 2019.

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Hanna Bervoets

Everything There Was

In the reality TV show Big Brother, people were voluntarily locked up in a house and filmed. This may well have been the inspiration for the new novel by writer and columnist Hanna Bervoets, in which a group of eight people gather in a school building to record a TV programme about science. A brilliant young boy with a talent for maths is being interviewed for the show.

Hanna Bervoets


Hanna Bervoets is a young writer with an impressive series of novels to her name, many of which have won literary prizes. She has a penchant for grotesque stories exploring topical themes that appeal to the imagination. Her novel 'Dear Céline' is about a young girl with an unhealthy fascination for Céline Dion, to whom she writes letters; 'Everything There Was' is about the aftermath of a terrorist attack; while Efter is set in a future where love is considered a psychiatric condition that can be treated with medication.

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Going purely by age, Hanna Bervoets can be considered a young writer. But going by her body of work, her awards and versatility, hers is already an established name on the Dutch literary scene – a leading voice in contemporary Dutch writing who explores timely issues such as privacy, genetic engineering and the medical industry in an accessible style. 'We Had to Remove This' Post showcases her greatest strengths. The book was published in a print run of more than 600,000 copies as this year’s Book Week Gift, the featured novella which is given free to those buying a book during National Book Week.

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