notes on dutch literature

Interview Herman Koch

In Interviews on November 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Herman Koch

“What a tremendous book. I loved ever single gripping and strange thing about it,” commented M.J. Hyland on The Dinner; a novel about middle-class manners and parenting which has swept a tide of opinion before it.

Dutch actor and writer Herman Koch’s The Dinner is one of those zeitgeist-tapping book which has won both critical acclaim and prizes but also sold in stupendous quantities – over a million copies in Europe to date. Deborah Brooks interviewed Herman Koch on behalf of Bookoxygen.

It’s sadly the case that authors who sparkle in prose can sometimes be exceptionally dour in life. Herman Koch’s publicist had already emailed me to tell me: ‘Herman is great fun – you’ll like him,’  but I suspect that these words might have made me worry that he was anything but, had I not enjoyed the book so very much. The Dinner is certainly not light-hearted and only in a few places could it be described as ‘fun’, but it is darkly funny and extremely well observed, clearly the work of a writer who delights in detail and bringing to life characters who both amuse and appal.  My interview with Herman Koch was perforce done via phone during his brief UK visit and five minutes into the call I found myself not only enjoying our conversation immensely but also deciding that Herman Koch is indeed a man you would like to have dinner with, just not the dinner described in the book.

Read here the rest of Deborah Brooks’ interview with Herman Koch


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