Willem Jan Otten

Willem Jan Otten

Willem Jan Otten (b. 1951) is a poet, essayist, and playwright in addition to being a novelist, and his novels are confessional. He made his poetry debut with the collection 'Een zwaluw vol zaagsel' (A Swallow Full of Sawdust, 1973, Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize).

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About the Author

He made his poetry debut with the collection Een zwaluw vol zaagsel (A Swallow Full of Sawdust, 1973, Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize). Subsequent collections include Ik zoek het hier (I Look for It Here, Herman Gorter Prize 1981) and Paviljoenen (Pavilions, Jan Campert Prize 1992). 

In his debut novel De man van horen zeggen (A Man from Hearsay, 1984), the sorrow of a man in mid-divorce who knows he is indispensable gathers pace when it emerges that the narrator has died. De wijde blik (The Broad Outlook, 1992, short-listed for the ako Literature Prize) is the confession of an adulterous spouse who in the end is himself deceived. His next novel, Ons mankeert niets (Nothing Wrong With Us, 1994), is the speech of a doctor who has just heard that he has to appear before a disciplinary committee for allowing his predecessor to commit suicide. 

Het museum van licht, (The Museum of Light, 1991) and the much-praised De letterpiloot (The Letter Pilot, 1993) are essay collections, the first of which is dedicated to cinema. His novel Specht en zoon (Specht and Son, 2004) has been awarded the Libris Literary Prize 2005.

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