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Zeruya Shalev wrote a beautiful novel about mourning: 'I felt the pain as if it happened to me'

With a fine, precise pen, Israeli Zeruya Shalev (63) writes about human relationships. Her new novel Lot is about what binds and drives loved ones apart, and about the different faces of grief. Sentences that want to be written For some writers, a book begins with an image, a pressing question or a character that presents itself. For Zeruya Shalev, a... 

The child without a father became a father without a child. Auke Hulst wrote a novel about mourning an unborn child

It is perhaps his most ambitious novel to date, and at the same time the first he would rather not talk about. For in De Mitsukoshi Troostbaby Company, writer Auke Hulst (46) broaches a sensitive and personal theme: mourning for an unborn child. Near future The Mitsukoshi Troostbaby Company is a novel as only Auke Hulst writes it.... 

How writer Maartje Wortel was confronted with herself: 'I was literally and figuratively running the same laps over and over again.'

For five years, writers Maartje Wortel and Niña Weijers walked endless laps through the Oosterpark every day. When that suddenly came to an end, Wortel was suddenly confronted with herself in a big way. 'I didn't feel I had anything to hold on to anymore'. Cheerfully waving, Maartje Wortel (38) approaches, a full bag of groceries in hand. 'Not handy no, for a walking interview,' observes... 

David Grossman: 'I know what it's like to live on with trauma'

More than 20 years ago, David Grossman's phone rang. A woman by the name of Eva Panić Nahir had something to say about an article he had published in an Israeli newspaper. Grossman smiles at the memory. 'What my piece was about I don't remember, except that she thought I had not gone far enough in my criticism of the government. I did find it refreshing to be attacked for once by someone from the left, instead of - as usual - the right wing.'

Lazarus in Dutch premiere: it's Valentine's Day!

Before I say anything substantive about Lazarus, Sunday 13 October the musical premiere for people who never go to musicals, a few misunderstandings the world over. First of all, the album Blackstar, which David Bowie released three days before his death on 11 January 2016, is NOT the soundtrack to Lazarus, his musical that was released a month before his death.... 

World-famous 'brooding work' - why Monet's water lilies and wisteria are still so special

People used to think it was three times nothing, but today the paintings of water lilies and wisteria are the most famous canvases by French painter Claude Monet. We visited his gardens in Giverny and took a peek through the eyes of the master. Mugs and socks When you think of the painter Claude Monet, the first thoughts probably go to his colourful canvases... 

First aid for blaze. Rudolf Escher offers solace with Musique pour l'esprit en deuil

Monday 15 April 2019, this date is forever etched in our memory. I couldn't keep dry at the images of the all-consuming fire at Notre-Dame de Paris. Like millions of others, I sat glued to my screen for hours with bated breath: this cannot be true! When the structure, the rose windows and even the organ turned out to be saved, I jumped... 

'For a long time, history has mainly been presented from a male perspective.'

Her debut novel became an instant bestseller in Spain. The Last Gift of Paulina Hoffmann by Carmen Romero Dorr is a novel based partly on her own family history about Paulina, who emigrates from Germany to Spain as a young girl because of World War II. 'About her past, her experiences during the war, my grandmother never wanted to talk.' A beautiful family epic, that is The Last... 

Why Noorderzon is the Groningeniest festival in the Netherlands.

Sometimes there is a gap in the strolling crowd in Groningen's Noorderplantsoen. Often this is due to a local resident with muscle-dog, who continues to make his daily round despite the crowds. It is one of those funny things that give Noorderzon its very own character, as the most Groningen-like of all summer festivals in our country. There is... 

'Black' is unique collection of 'Afropean' literature: 'African-Dutch authors are directly compared to black American writers.'

Het boek mag dan ‘Zwart‘ heten, de verhalen die erin verzameld zijn, maken duidelijk dat er evenveel tinten zwart zijn, als wit en alles daar tussenin. We, en dan bedoel ik mezelf en mijn grotendeels witte netwerk, moeten alleen beter kijken. En luisteren. Neem het verhaal van Olave Nduwanje, getiteld Imana Ikurinde (God behoede je), midden in het boek. De… 

'Get well.' Grief therapist Julia Samuel on 'Grief work'

How should you grieve? Is there any way to grieve, or are you at the mercy of fate? How do you deal with someone in grief? Grief therapist Julia Samuel has been helping people who have lost a loved one for 25 years. By now, she knows how to and, more importantly, how not to. In March this year, a few days before... 

João Ricardo Pedro on living on after missing: 'I want to repay my debt'

On 11 September 1985, the biggest train disaster in Portuguese history took place. Near Alcafache, an international express train collided with a local barge. Nothing was ever recovered from dozens of passengers. They were totally charred in the scorching inferno. Portuguese writer João Ricardo Pedro, in his stunning novel Underway, reconstructs how one of those missing people ended up in that place where... 

How Heather Ware's language mistake led to an entire dance work courtesy of Bach

What does it mean for a dancer with an intense career when she decides to choreograph as well? In March, Battle Abbey premiered, Heather Ware's first full-length choreography in collaboration with Swedish cellist Jakob Korányi. Heather Ware, a dancer with LeineRoebana since 2003, embarked on the path to creating her own choreography without a plan.... 

When you lose a sibling. On the grief of 'forgotten grief'

My father died in 1997. He came from a family of 10 children, five of whom have since died. My aunt Minke wrote a book about it: Broederziel alleen? The book stirred up a lot of emotions and had eight reprints in a short time. Grief for a deceased sibling turned out to be forgotten grief. In English, mourners are forgotten... 

Michel van der Aa transcends himself in opera Blank Out

As soon as soprano Miah Persson enters the stage, we hear a loud, electronic crack. Is a branch breaking here, one of composer Michel van der Aa's (Oss, 1970) favourite sounds? Or is it a stone crashing into another after all? Boulders play a major role in his latest opera Blank Out; at the end they crush with thunderous roar 

José Eduardo Agualusa: 'I will not be silenced'

Writing cost him his marriage, he is being shadowed by the secret service and risks being arrested in Angola. But José Eduardo Agualusa, who has a chance of winning the 2016 Man Booker International Prize with his new novel A General Theory of Forgetting, does not hesitate to put down his pen. 'I won't let myself... 

Moisio's choreography 'Mum's the Word' makes you yearn for peace and freedom

Mothers and daughters: is there a closer bond? Their lives are an extension of each other. Mother treads the same path her daughter will later follow. She is a friend, to whom one can always fall back. But under the skin, a suffocating power struggle rages in which they hold and attack each other. Jealousy and competition gnaw at the domestic idyll. Escape is impossible. It is a... 

An Eco is an Eco is an Eco

'Someone like Umberto is of greater value on earth than in heaven.' Actor Roberto Benigni, known for films like La vita è bella, said goodbye to his friend Umberto Eco (1932-2016) at his funeral at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan on Tuesday. Eco's grandson also spoke and thanked his grandfather for the stories told, the crossword puzzles, the books and music... 

Queues to the door for Knausgård at Winternachten #wu16 #wn16

Veel publiek en prachtige verhalen maakten de zaterdag van het literaire festival Winternachten tot een feestje. Voor het bezoek van de Noorse schrijver Karl Ove Knausgård ’s middags stonden de rijen van de zaal tot aan het voordeur van het Theater aan het Spui. Ook de avondprogrammering van het festival werd goed bezocht. Terwijl de Amerikaans-Duitse filosofe Susan Neiman in… 

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