Joost Zwagerman


Joost Zwagerman about Sheffield

Vallei flies high, or: satori in Sheffield

Vallei vliegt hoog, of: satori in Sheffield

‘Were you surprised by the success of Beeldrijm?’ Otto Vallei had barely been in Sheffield for two hours w...

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Joost Zwagerman (The Netherlands, 1963 - 2015) is a prominent figure in the Dutch literary landscape and one of the most read writers of his generation. His work has been translated and published in Germany, France, Hungary, Czech Republic and Japan. Zwagerman made his debut in 1986 with the novel De houdgreep (The Stranglehold). Three years later his breakthrough came with Gimmick! (1989). His bestseller Vals Licht (Fake Light, 1991) was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize and a film based on this book was released in 1993.

Zwagerman also writes poetry, essays, colums and political pamphlets. He won the Paul Snoek Poetry prize in 2007 for his collection of poems Roeshoofd hemelt (High Head goes to Heaven, 2005). His collected essays Transito (2007) was shortlisted for the AKO Literatuurprijs. Since 1985 Zwagerman publishes essays in the opinion magazine Vrij Nederland. For several years he wrote columns for de Volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad. His favorite subjects are literature, visual arts and popmusic. The same year he published a pamphlet on the ideological crisis among leftwing politics, De schaamte voor links (The Disgrace of Leftism). Another pamphlet named Hitler in de polder & Vrij van god (Hitler in the Polder & Free from god) stirred opinions in 2009.

He received the Gouden Ganzenveer (Golden Quill Award) for his complete works in 2008. In 2010 Zwagerman was invited to write the prestigious Book Week Gift, which resulted in the short novel Duel, followed in 2011 by a well-received collection of essays called Alles is gekleurd (Everything is colored), situated at the crossroads of art, literature and popular culture. His last book De stilte van het licht (2015, De Arbeiderspers) is a collection of essays on art.


© Peter Boer

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