Cees Nooteboom

(The Hague, Netherlands, 1933)

He is one of the major and most original Dutch writers. He is the translator of Spanish, Catalan, French and German poetry and American theatre, and is the author of novels, poetry, essays and travel books. Philip en de anderen (Philip and the Others), his first novel, originally published in 1954, was inspired by a journey he made hitchhiking around Europe. His work includes Rituals (1980), The Following Story (1996) and Mokusei (1994), in which Arnold Pessers, a Dutch photographer on a trip to Japan to produce a touristic reportage, is in fact in search of a ‘place of the soul', which he insists on seeking at a specific spot on the globe. In the Dutch Mountains presents an imagined Holland, set in the past, which is not at all like the small country we know; it extends south across wild, mountainous territory, overlooked by progress, where no northerner has dared to venture. Roads to Santiago (The Harvill Press, 1998) is an example of his love for Spain. How to be European (1995) is a collection of eight lectures in which he endeavours to address issues such as the whereabouts of the Europe we've dreamed of for so many years. His novel All Souls' Day (1998) is a love story that reflects on changes in recent history and the metaphysical side of life. In Nomad's Hotel (The Harvill Press, 2003), his most recent book, Cees Nooteboom acquaints us with his nomadic condition in a series of journeys in time through Gambia, Mali, the Sahara, Bolivia and Mexico.

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