(Amsterdam, NL, 1971) is a literary critic with the NRC Handelsblad newspaper. He believes that a novel is good if it changes his view of the world. Fortuin studied history and philosophy in Amsterdam and Madrid. During his studies he wrote for the faculty paper Babel; Folia, the weekly paper of the Amsterdam University; Biografie Bulletin and Historisch Nieuwsblad. He's worked for the Books supplement of NRC Handelsblad since 1998, became its editor in 1999 and literary coordinator in 2005. He has focused strongly on Dutch literature, history and sports books. Fortuin was an editor with Magazijn, a yearbook for writers under forty, and together with Hans Schoots compiled Ongenaakbaar Madrid (Inaccessible Madrid, 2003), a collection of stories about the Spanish capital. He's on the editorial board of the Foundation of Literary Activities Amsterdam. His biography of publisher Geert van Oorschot was published in 2015.(2015)
Archive available for: Arjen Fortuin
A festival tradition: the NRC Book Club Live. A panel headed by NRC books editor Michel Krielaars, including staffers Margot Dijkgraaf, Arjen Fortuin and Toef Jaeger, discusses Connie Palmen's Lucifer (2007). In this philosophical whodunit, the wife of composer Lucas Loos falls into an abyss on a Greek island in the summer of 1981. A quarter-century later, the protagonist decides to investigate. She encounters unexpected information through the colourful inhabitants of 1980s Amsterdam. Was this death predicted years earlier in a musical number, or was the fall a terrible accident? In a blurb on the book flap, the author says she was inspired by events surrounding Dutch composer Peter Schat (1935-2003) and his wife.
Everyone is welcome, and of course you, the reader of the book, can add your two cents to the discussion. Afterwards you can attend the interview of Connie Palmen by Anna Luyten, which will also touch on her new novel Jij zegt het (Whatever You Say), based on the lives of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, the poet who famously committed suicide.