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Annelies Verbeke

Annelies Verbeke - foto Alex Salinas
Annelies Verbeke - foto Alex Salinas

(Belgium, 1976) writes novels, film scripts and plays. Her debut novel Slaap! (Sleep!) was published in 2003, followed by three novels (Reus, Vissen redden, Dertig dagen); four collections of short stories; a collection of journalism pieces, Wakker (Awake, together with photographer Charlie De Keersmaecker); and the graphic novella Tirol Inferno, written in iambic pentameter and rhyme and co-created with illustrator Klaas Verplancke. Her work has been translated into 26 languages and won various prizes, such as the F. Bordewijk Prize, the Opzij Literature Prize, the J.M.A. Biesheuvel Prize, and the NRC Handelsblad Readers Prize. She has also written several plays and film scripts, and worked with various theatre companies, especially Rotterdam-based Wunderbaum. In 2023, she published short stories in Koude soep (Cold Soup) and JIJ (You), an anthology of you-stories. January 2024 will see the premiere of Wunderbaum speel live (online gaat het mis), a theatre production by Wunderbaum with a stage text by Annelies Verbeke.


Archive available for: Annelies Verbeke

  • Writers Unlimited 2024 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Book of My Life with Annelies Verbeke

    Writers tell us about their favourite book: the book that inspires or touches them, that set their artistic, moral or intellectual compass. In short, the book they would recommend to everyone. Interview: Abdelkader Benali.

    Annelies Verbeke chose as her favorite the short stories collection Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield.

  • Writers Unlimited 2024 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Fleeting Time

    Time is the space in which life unfolds, but time is hard to get a grip on. Minutes can last for centuries and years seem like two seconds. What is time? Humans have little time; that is their tragedy. At the same time, the awareness of that limited time gives our lives depth and meaning. What philosophy may not be able to explain can be expressed through literature.

    As a writer, you can play with time and have the freedom to determine the chronology of the book, to speed up or slow down time. How does a writer compress a lifetime or a few centuries? Is a book a small time factory? Too many questions in too little time, but Connie Palmen and Annelies Verbeke answered them anyway! Moderator was writer and essayist Mira Feticu.

    Connie Palmen always seeks out the border between fact and fiction in her work. She became well-known in the Netherlands with her debut novel and two following best-sellers. She has written several essay collections, such as
    Het geluk van de eenzaamheid (The Joy of Loneliness, 2009) en Het drama van de afhankelijkheid (The Drama of Dependency, 2017). Many of her novels are based on events in her own life, and her essays are more narrative than usual. In 2023 she published Voornamelijk vrouwen (Mostly Women), personal essays about eleven women and one man who shape their lives in their own headstrong ways. Palmen debates with and challenges them, uncovering differences and similarities with her own life. Her award-winning work is internationally successful and translated into many languages.

    Annelies Verbeke writes novels, stories, film scripts and theatre pieces. In 2003 she debuted with Slaap! (Sleep!), followed by three novels, four short-story collections, the collection of journalistic stories Wakker (Awake, co-created with photographer Charlie De Keersmaecker), and the graphic novella Tirol Inferno, written in iambic pentameter and rhyme, co-created with illustrator Klaas Verplancke. Her work has won various prizes and been translated into many languages. In 2023 she published Koude soep (Cold Soup) in the Terloops Series and JIJ, an anthology of you-stories.

    Mira Feticu is a writer, poet and columnist. In 2012 she published her first novel in Dutch: Lief kind van mij (Sweet Child of Mine), followed by De ziekte van Kortjakje (Kortjakje's Disease, 2013). Both books are about a Romanian immigrant who grew up under Ceausescu and is unable to settle down in the Netherlands, but who flourishes as she distances herself from her husband. Her third novel Tascha, about an art robbery in a Rotterdam museum, appeared in 2015, followed by Al mijn vaders (All My Fathers), Picasso's keerzijde (Picasso's Flipside) and Liefdesverklaring aan de Nederlandse taal (Love Letter to the Dutch Language, 2021).

    Festival tip: Connie Palmen talked with artist Sven Ratzke about their theatre show Marlene and about masculinity and femininity on Saturday afternoon, 20 January 2024, at Theater aan het Spui; later that day she contributed to a conversation during Saturday Night Unlimited with Celeste Ng and Sacha Bronwasser about the voice of the character.

  • Optimistische woede

    Optimistische woede (Optimistical Anger)

    With: Annelies Verbeke, Christine Otten, Jannah Loontjens, Manon Uphoff, Rachida Lamrabet, Sanneke van Hassel, Shantie Singh

    In this Writers Series programme, writers' collective Fixdit, in collaboration with Writers Unlimited, celebrated the publication of the Fixdit manifesto Optimistische woede: fix het seksisme in de literatuur (Optimistic Rage: fix sexism in literature), a publication of De Geus, at Theater aan het Spui in The Hague.

    Optimistic rage
    Many people openly admit to barely reading books by women. Reading lists in schools are dominated by books by (white straight) men. Women win fewer literary prizes than men. Is that a bad thing? Yes, because it reflects and shapes relations in society.

    Eleven female writers are outraged by the unequal position of women in the arts, and united in the collective Fixdit. From alliance, they fight for change, in the literary world and in the canon. In the eleven pieces of this manifesto, they explore the problem in depth. Furious, combative, and above all: optimistic.

    No fewer than eight of the eleven Fixdit authors read from their contributions to their joint manifesto: Sanneke van Hassel, Rachida Lamrabet, Jannah Loontjens, Christine Otten, Shantie Singh, Fleur Speet, Manon Uphoff and Annelies Verbeke. You probably read their books and met them in previous Writers Series programmes or at the Winternachten festival.

    The programme in Zaal 1 opened and closed with parts from Gregory Shaggy's urban dance performance (Y)our eyes only about the reality of young black men in Western society. With their own dreams, goals and talents, they try to make a name for themselves in a world where prejudice, racism, inequality and distorted images in the media are unfortunately still among today's problems. The men want to search for their own truths. They try to face personal blockages in order to ultimately follow their dreams.

    After the programme, we celebrated the book launch with bubbles and book signing at De Vries Van Stockum Boeken's book sales stand in the foyer. This book launch marked the start of a Fixdit tour along bookshops and literary venues throughout the Netherlands and Belgium.

    Fixdit consists of Yra van Dijk, Sanneke van Hassel, Rachida Lamrabet, Jannah Loontjens, Munganyende Hélène Christelle, Christine Otten, Gaea Schoeters, Shantie Singh, Fleur Speet, Manon Uphoff and Annelies Verbeke.

  • Winternachten 2022 – Thursday Night Unlimited

    Fixdit - about the legendary Nawal el Saadawi

    Writer, doctor and feminist in 20th-century Egypt - with Annelies Verbeke, Jannah Loontjens, Rachida Lamrabet and Gamal Fouad.

    Legendary Egyptian author Nawal el Saadawi passed away in March 2021 at the age of 90. Hadn't you heard of her yet? Then this event is the perfect chance to correct that oversight!

    Nawal el Saadawi is also known as "the Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world," and her work ruffled a lot of feathers. She was a doctor and an activist who wrote unabashedly about her life as an emancipated, feminist woman in an Egypt in which far from everyone shared her opinions. It's time to shine a spotlight on her groundbreaking work, and we let Annelies Verbeke and Jannah Loontjens of the Fixdit collective do the honours!

    For this event, which is also a live recording of a new podcast episode, authors and Fixdit founders Annelies Verbeke and Jannah Loontjens embarked on a discussion with the Belgian author and lawyer Rachida Lamrabet and the Dutch writer and visual artist Gamal Fouad. They discussed Nawal el Saadawi's influential work and in particular her novel The Fall of the Imam.

    About Fixdit
    The writers' collective Fixdit is committed to raising the profile of work by female authors that deserves a wider readership. In collaboration with the literary magazine De Gids, Loontjens and Verbeke produce the Fixdit podcast series Moderne klassikers (Modern Classics), in which they give exposure to literary classics written by women.

    Fixdit & Writers Unlimited
    Fixdit and Writers Unlimited have joined forces to bring attention to international female authors who deserve a spot in the literary canon. November 2021 Fixdit and Writers Unlimited jointly created the episode Bibi Koetis voor altijd (Bibi Koetis For Ever), about the Indonesian author Lin Scholte Previously we jointly created an episode about Dutch-Indonesian author Lin Scholte (1921-1997), with Annelies Verbeke, Jannah Loontjens, Vilan van de Loo (writer and editor of Lin Scholte's collected works) and writer Gustaaf Peek. View here the video registration of the live podcast recording that took place at Nationaal Museum Sophiahof - van Indië tot nu (The Hague). The conversation is in Dutch.

    Reading tips:
    The entire oevre of Nawal el Saadawi, especially The Fall of the Imam, Memoirs of a Woman Doctor and Woman at Point Zero.

    Dutch spoken.

  • 'Bibi Koetis voor altijd', Lin Scholte

    'Bibi Koetis voor altijd', Lin Scholte

    With: Annelies Verbeke, Gustaaf Peek, Jannah Loontjens, Vilan van de Loo

    In collaboration with literary magazine De Gids, writers Jannah Loontjens and Annelies Verbeke create the Fixdit podcast series Modern Classics. Every two months they highlight a literary classic written by a woman. On Thursday 4 November, Lin Scholte's novel Bibi Koetis Forever (1974) - set in the Dutch East Indies community - was discussed with writers Gustaaf Peek and Vilan van de Loo. This was a live event, Dutch spoken. Together with Writers Unlimited, this edition of the podcast was recorded in the presence of an audience at the beautiful and appropriate location in The Hague: Museum Sophiahof.

    Soon available in your favorite podcast-app!

    Bibi Koetis voor altijd, Lin Scholte
    Date: Thursday 4 November 2021
    Start: 20.30 hrs, door open at 20.00 hrs
    Free entrance for students and scholars. Regular ticket €10,- including tea/coffee and spekkoek
    Further information and tickets:
    Location: Nationaal Museum Sophiahof, Sophialaan 10, 2514 JR Den Haag

    Dutch spoken.

    Event curated by Ellen Walraven (Writers Unlimited), Annelies Verbeke and Jannah Loontjens (Fixdit).
    Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books

    Please note!

    • It is mandatory to show an identity card and a corona admission ticket at the entrance.
    • The corona admission ticket is mandatory for adults and children older than 13 years.
    • In the event of cancellation due to corona complaints, we return the purchase amount.

    This program is a coproduction of Fixdit and Writers Unlimited in collaboration with Museum Sophiahof.

  • Rodaan al Galidi, Annelies Verbeke en Pierre Jarawan

    Rodaan al Galidi, Annelies Verbeke en Pierre Jarawan

    With: Annelies Verbeke, Fiep van Bodegom, Pierre Jarawan, Rodaan Al Galidi

    Three countries, three authors, three novels about immigrants finding their way in a new country. Rodaan Al Galidi is a poet and writer. Born in Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. His new book Two Blankets, Three Sheets is an inspiring tale of survival, a close-up view of the hidden world of refugees and human smugglers, and a sobering reflection of our times. Annelies Verbeke is a Belgian writer of award winning novels, short stories and plays. Her novel Thirty Days about Alphonse, a Senegales immigrant, is a deeply moving story about love, outsiders and the human need to connect. Pierre Jarawan moved to Germany with his family at the age of three. Inspired by his father's imaginative bedtime stories, he started writing at the age of thirteen. His first novel about Samir's quest for his missing father, The Storyteller, became an international bestseller. Host: Fiep van Bodegom.

    Program in cooperation with World Editions.
    Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books

  • Winternachten 2016

    Writers' Fest

    With: Aad Meinderts, Adriaan van Dis, Anna Woltz, Annelies Verbeke, Dick van der Harst, Edward van de Vendel, Femke Halsema, Francis Broekhuijsen, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Job Cohen, Joris Wijsmuller, Lamin Kuyateh, Michael Krüger, Rodaan Al Galidi, Typhoon

    A festive event built around the presentation of the Jan Campert Prizes, the literary awards of the City of The Hague. In collaboration with the Jan Campert Foundation and the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Dutch literature is celebrated with various performances by writers, poets, and representatives of other disciplines (who honour the winners). The event is intended, in part, to highlight the state of Dutch literature. The afternoon culminates in the presentation of the Constantijn Huygens Prize for a whole body of work, which this year is awarded to Adriaan van Dis, beloved author and a great friend of the festival since day one. In Dutch