(1971, Netherlands) is one of the most successful Dutch writers, also abroad. The productive novelist, columnist, essayist, poet and scriptwriter lives and works mainly in New York. In his fiction, he takes on themes as religion, parenthood, love and relationships. In his essays, columns, debates and performances he likes to seek out polemics about topical issues. His debut and international breakthrough with Blauwe maandagen (Blue Mondays, 1994) was followed by much-discussed, award-winning and internationally successful novels such as Phantom Pain (2000), The Asylum Seeker (2003), Tirza (2006), Onze oom (Our Uncle, 2007), Huid en haar (Tooth and Nail, 2010), Moedervlekken (Birthmarks, 2016) and Bezette gebieden (Occupied Territories, 2020). Between 2000 and 2008 he also published novels and essays under the pseudonym Marek van der Jagt.(WN 2021)
Archive available for: Arnon Grunberg
NO TICKETS LEFT - Every Sunday morning, the relevance of history is the focus of one of the most popular radio programs in the Netherlands. This edition of OVT will be broadcast live from the festival's cozy Wintercafé in the Theater aan het Spui. Come watch and listen!
Writers from the Winternachten Festival will join this programme for interviews: Ian Buruma, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Bas Heijne, Karin Amatmoekrim and Arnon Grunberg. Writer Nelleke Noordervliet will read her column. Bart Funnekotter presents the book reviews this week. With live music by trumpet player Eric Vloeimans. Programme in Dutch.
The so-called Islamic State is more than a band of rebels or a terror network. Their campaign of terror in conquered villages and cities, their terrorist attacks in Europe, and their written and visual propaganda looks and sounds like a coherent horror story of "the enemy" as well as a recruitment campaign for potential international jihadists. IS publish a glossy magazine and put masses of energy into the recruitment of sympathizers among youth who are seeking identity and meaning in the virtual world. And they don't limit themselves to Muslim youth. In short, IS understands the power of the word and greatly emphasizes the imagination.
In IS: The Counter-Narrative, Hassnae Bouazza directs the conversation about how to counteract the horror campaign and propaganda machine. Dutch-Kurdish Beri Shalmashi offers up a video essay about similar groupings, visual representation and propaganda. Frank Westerman takes us into the past and shows how we in the Netherlands have reacted to extremist acts, and how we could now choose the right words and actions to win the battle of ideas. Arnon Grunberg gets under the skin of jihadists from the West, and wonders whether their existential motivation diverges fundamentally from that of an average Western military on a mission. Rodaan Al Galidi shows us the bigger picture of the relationship between Europe and the Middle East and presents his vision of how to understand IS as a symbol of today's transnational world. He also provides the night's finale in the form of a performed poem; the musical epilogue is by Jeanine Valeriano and her Spoken Beat Night.
A late-night show about a daring subject: today's campaign of terror by the Islamic State within and outside the Arabic world. Iraqi-born writer Hassan Blasim - The Guardian called him "perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive" - reads from his short story collection The Corpse Exhibition (2014) in which he pictures daily life in contemporary Iraq not only by vivid, lurid and violent scenes but by showing the surreal, humoristic and enchanting sides of his characters. The collection is published in its Dutch language version titled Lijkententoonstelling during Winternachten Festival 2017.
Journalist Hassnae Bouazza discusses the subject with Hassan Blasim, with highly esteemed political essayist Ian Buruma and with Dutch top writer Arnon Grunberg.
How should one analyze staged and theatrically planned murderous acts? What is the relationship between IS's bombastic horror-pathos and the fascist European propaganda of the 1930s?
Spoken Beat Night accompanies Hassan Blasim during the reading from The Corpse Exhibition
The unexpected election of businessman Donald Trump as president of the United States will be signed and sealed in Washington this Friday, 20 January. The choice of Trump is seen primarily as a protest by citizens against the established political elite, and a sign of broad discontent among the American public. Is the USA our role model - will voters stand up against the political establishment here as well? In Europe in 2017, significant elections will take place in the Netherlands, France and Germany; the Dutch will be first to go to the ballot box on 15 March to elect their members of parliament. Should we expect a surprise?
In This is Not America, writers and journalists will compare the USA and the Netherlands under the knowledgeable direction of Stephan Sanders. Margriet Oostveen wrote a column for NRC Handelsblad from the US about daily life there; currently she does the same for the Volkskrant about the Dutch from the Netherlands. Bas Heijne offers a broader cultural context for the general discontent; Ian Buruma, a citizen of and expert on both countries, makes comparisons; and Arnon Grunberg reflects on what he hears and sees in the streets of New York and The Hague. Jeanine Valeriano and her Spoken Beat Night finish up the evening with a sparkling performance.