Renowned Colombian author Héctor Abad will be staying at the NIAS in Wassenaar as a writer-in-residence for a duration of five months, starting February 2016. During his stay he will be working on both a new novel and a biography of Colombian poet Léon de Greiff.
Héctor Abad (1958) has studied medicine, philosophy and journalism at universities in Medellín and Turin. He was expelled from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in his hometown Medellín because of a controversial article regarding the Pope. He then moved to Italy to study. Shortly after moving back to his homeland after graduating summa cum laude, his father was murdered by the paramilitaries.
Abads work was translated for both the Dutch and English market. El olvido que seremos, the praised portrait of his father and the situation of Colombia during the eighties, was translated into Dutch by Jos den Bekker and into English by Anne McLean and Rosalind Harvey. Het vergeten dat ons wacht in Dutch, and Oblivion: A Memoir in English. The book was internationally celebrated, a recommendation of Mario Vargas Llosa among it: “My most unnerving literary experience of the past years.”
De Geus publishers, who published the Dutch translation, put forward Héctor Abad for the position of writer-in-residence. The NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences) made available a subsidy for his residence. During his residency he will be blogging on the website of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, a link to it is at the bottom of this page.
The writer-in-residence programme is a collaboration between the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the NIAS and has focused its attention on authors of literary fiction, as well as non-fiction. Together they strive to make an international and interdisciplinairy academic community possible.