notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Judith Vanistendael’

High Impact 14th – 19th January 2013

In Festivals on December 9, 2012 at 9:00 PM

High Impact Literature from the Low Countries
As preparations for High Impact go into turbo drive Michele Hutchison takes her seat as tour blogger. High Impact: Literature from the Low Countries – to give its full title – is a festival and tour in which six top Dutch-language writers from Flanders and The Netherlands will give readings in six cities around the UK. Hutchinson introduces the concept and thinking behind the whole project. Here’s her interview with the Artistic Director Rosie Goldsmith about what it all means.

The six participating writers:

Lieve Joris: her journalism & non-fiction books on Africa, China, the Middle East & Europe have earned her the reputation as the VS Naipaul or Ryszard Kapuscinski of the Low Countries. Author of the acclaimed The Rebel’s Hour (Atlantic, 2008)
Powerful and timely, intensely imagined’ (Paul Theroux)

Herman Koch: former actor & comedy star; best-selling novelist – in the Netherlands & round the world – of the thrilling, chilling mega-hit The Dinner (Atlantic, 2012)
Proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world’ (The Economist)

Ramsey Nasr: the Dutch Poet Laureate & all-round Renaissance Man (actor, director, poet, journalist & librettist), famed for his beautiful prose, provocative politics & exciting public appearances. Heavenly Life was published by Banipal in 2010. ‘With this collection Anglophone readers are introduced to a poet of global scope’ (Marilyn Hacker)

Peter Terrin: this year’s winner of the prestigious AKO Literature Prize & author of the magnificent psychological thriller The Guard (Maclehose Press, 2012). ‘A rich and gripping mix of all the ingredients that make for a truly haunting atmosphere’ (Writers’ Hub)

Chika Unigwe: Born in Nigeria, at home in Belgium; poet, short story writer & award-winning novelist of On Black Sisters’ Street (Vintage, 2009). ‘Exquisitely observed and heartbreaking’ (The Guardian)

Judith Vanistendael: The Posy Simmonds of Belgium; the bold & brilliant graphic novelist of When David Lost His Voice (Self Made Hero, 2012). ‘Big, bleak, brilliant and stark’ (The Economist)

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When David Lost His Voice

In Review on November 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

When David Lost his Voice

Belgian Comic artist Judith Vanistendael’s latest graphic novel When David Lost His Voice is moving and powerful. “An superb graphic account of a family coping with cancer is moving without being mawkish […] This is an amazing book, one of the best published by the clever people at Self Made Hero so far”. – Rachel Cooke, The Observer.

The eponymous David learns that he has throat cancer just as his granddaughter is born—but tells no one for two months. As he undergoes treatment and his condition worsens, his family circles around him and around each other. David stays largely silent. The story is about watching a loved-one live with and die of cancer—and that focus lends itself particularly well to the graphic form. It is an outstanding testimony. The narrative is unflinching in depicting the black wars that break out among David’s family, even amid the deepest sorrow. The most touching moments of this book are the family’s fleeting glimpses of the shrinking, fading man. When David turns his back to reach a book for his older daughter, Miriam, she sees a skeleton through his suit jacket; when he turns back to her he is only bones.

When David Lost His Voice is published by Self Made Hero (April 2012, UK) and translated by Nora Mahony.

Read the full review in The Economist.

High Impact: Literature from the Low Countries

In Festivals on November 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

High Impact Literature from the Low Countries

Lieve Joris, Herman Koch, Ramsey Nasr, Peter Terrin, Chika Unigwe, Judith Vanistendael and Geert Mak. All award-winning and best-selling authors from Belgium and the Netherlands.

From 14th – 19th January 2013 these Dutch and Belgian authors will tour from Liverpool to London. 6 cities for 6 nights of readings & debates, to showcase the excellent literature from Flanders & the Netherlands in English translation

HIGH IMPACT brings this unique group of writers together. You’ll hear the Dutch Poet Laureate side by side with Belgium’s leading graphic novelist; 2 global best-sellers, a thriller writer, a celebrated historian and a travel writer, together on stage every night. Each night a different city, a different theme, a different type of venue (a church, theatre, an arts centre). During the final gig they will perform alongside English literati such David Mitchell, Tracy Chevalier and Deborah Moggach, themselves famous writers on Dutch themes: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, The Girl With The Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever.

More info @Dutch Foundation for Literature

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