(Belgium, 1972) has written an extensive body of novels, stories, novellas, poetry and plays since his debut in 1999. His work has been published in more than 20 languages. His big breakthrough came in 2006 with The Misfortunates, an autobiographical sketch of a Flemish suburb that spawned a screen adaptation, which won the Gouden Uil Public Prize. Godverdomse dagen op een godverdomse bol (Goddamned Days on a Goddamned Ball, 2008) depicts the history of mankind in 200 pages and won the Libris Literature Prize. De laatkomer (The Latecomer, 2013), about a man who fakes dementia to escape his bourgeois existence, was just as successful. His novel Kaddisj voor een kut (Kaddish for a Cunt, 2014) is a pitch-black story about the lives of children in an institution, and Het leven gezien van beneden (Life Seen From Below) describes the harsh life of a writer's widow in communist Bulgaria.(WN 2019)
Archive available for: Dimitri Verhulst
A fictional character visited the shrink! Psychiatrist Damiaan Denys invited Dimitri Verhulst onto his couch. As the protagonist of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, Verhulst reflected on desires, motives and life questions. What if I had eternal life? As a character, do I not already enjoy eternal life? And what is actually the meaning of life? Can one shape life, is everything possible if you will it?
With: Aad Meinderts, Bart Moeyaert, Bas Heijne, Calliope Tsoupaki, Cristina Branco, De Règâhs, Dimitri Verhulst, Francis Broekhuijsen, Ivo van Hove, Jan van Mersbergen, Joris Wijsmuller, Kees 't Hart, Luc Coorevits - Behoud de Begeerte, Lucky Fonz III, Maarten 't Hart, Maria Barnas, Mensje van Keulen, Piet Gerbrandy
Francis Broekhuijsen hosts the festival's concluding celebration: the Writers' Fest, a varied programme centred around Dutch literature.
Poet Maria Barnas begins the afternoon with an ode to poetry. Writer and critic Kees' t Hart introduces the programme with his views on the state of Dutch literature, a speech about the literary highlights of 2014. Writer Bart Moeyaert, artistic manager of special guests Flanders and the Netherlands at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair, presents his plans to promote our literature in the global context. Fado singer Cristina Branco sings songs composed specially for the occasion, based on poetry by Remco Campert and others.
The core of the programme is the presentation of the Jan Campert prizes, the City of The Hague's prestigious literary awards, with inspired lectures by admirers of the laureates. For his poetry collection Vlinderslag (Stroke of the Butterfly), Piet Gerbrandy will receive the Jan Campert Prize and a tribute by composer Calliope Tsoupaki. Jan van Mersbergen, who will receive the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize for his novel De laatste ontsnapping (The Last Escape), will be serenaded by singer-songwriter Lucky Fonz. Bas Heijne will receive the J. Greshoff Prize for Angst en schoonheid. Louis Couperus, de mystiek der zichtbare dingen (Fear and Beauty: Louis Couperus and the mysticism of tangible things). He will be addressed by Ivo van Hove, director of the Amsterdam Theatre, which will stage the work of Couperus in 2015. Writer Dimitri Verhulst will honour Luc Coorevits, the passionate founder of the Flemish literary organization Behoud de Begeerte, which won the G.H. 's-Gravensande Prize for exceptional literary achievement. The evening's crowning glory is the Constantijn Huygens Prize for a body of work. This will be awareded to Mensje van Keulen for her novels, stories, and poems. Fellow writer and contemporary Maarten 't Hart will sing her praises, as will De Règâhs.
Presented in collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Jan Campert Foundation.
In this opening programme two well-matched authors perform: Flemish writer Dimitri Verhulst and Egyptian writer Ahmad al-Aidi. The speed in their prose is breathtaking, the use of language direct and the humour disturbingly sharp. For Winternachten they each wrote a story in which they respond to existing images of fear of 'the Arab' and 'the westerner' respectively. After no doubt a beguiling read by the two, Nelleke Noordervliet will talk to them about literary intimidation and the limits they draw themselves. Famous cartoonist Willem (Le Monde, HP/De Tijd, Vrij Nederland) reacts with pencil on the stories. Ahmad al-Aidi's novel 'I am Abbaas al-Abd' will be presented. In English.