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Peter Nijssen

Peter Nijssen
Peter Nijssen

Helden, NL, 1961) studied Dutch language and literature in Utrecht. Until the mid-nineties, he was a writer and literary jouralist for the weeklies Vrij Nederland and HP/De Tijd. In 1995 he became an editor with De Arbeiderspers, a literary publisher of fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry, and Dutch and translated literature. In 1999 he became the editor-in-chief, and in 2013 the publisher. The company's writers include Anna Enquist, Maarten 't Hart, Arthur Japin, and Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, and young authors like Ineke Riem and Christophe Vekeman. The company's foreign authors include Michel Houellebecq, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Cormac McCarthy and Tim Parks, as well as the world's most translated writer, Paulo Coelho. De Arbeiderspers is also home to the literary series Privé-domein. Nijssen has also written and translated literary fiction and non-fiction, and published several books.


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  • Winternachten 2016

    Help, It's My Debut! Literary Brunch with CLEEFT

    With: Abdelkader Benali, Bregje Hofstede, Ferdinand Lankamp, Gerson Main, Lize Spit, Peter Nijssen

    An informal literary brunch in the cozy foyer of Theatre aan het Spui, at the heart of the festival. This event is a collaboration with CLEEFT, a community of fans of film, books, exhibitions, concerts, performances, and culinary events.

    What happens to you when your first book is published? When suddenly it's in the shops, your name is in the paper and on TV, and radio and talk shows clamour to have you on as a guest? It's a great achievement, of course, but making your debut can also be difficult. Maybe there are reviews critical of your "baby." Or, worse, no one takes any notice of your book at all. This program features writers who are popular with CLEEFT's readers. Bregje Hofstede made her debut in 2014 with De hemel boven Parijs (The Sky Over Paris). Right after the event, Lize Spit will attend the launch of her first book, Het Smelt (It's Melting). Long-time publisher Peter Nijssen of De Arbeiderspers talks about how it used to be for rookies versus how it is today. He lays out the dos and don'ts for emerging writers. In the field of music, too, you can get swept up in a wave of publicity, as happened to Gerson Main, singer with the famous fur hat, who made the finals of the show Best Singer-songwriter of the Netherlands. This event is hosted by CLEEFT critic Ferdinand Lankamp and writer Abdelkader Benali, who had a dream debut in 1996 with Bruiloft aan zee (Wedding by the Sea).