Monday, May 18, 2009

Meulenhoff | Manteau welcomes Walter van den Broeck

(Walter van den Broeck as seen by photographer Koen Broos.)

With his novel, Return to Walden, Walter van den Broeck returns to the publishing house where he started his career as a writer in 1968. Other titles from his vast body of work, published by De Bezige Bij, will now also be published by Meulenhoff | Manteau. More about those new editions later…

For Walter van den Broeck, the switch to Meulenhoff | Manteau is a logical choice: ‘I always have been of the opinion that Flemish writers should publish their work in Flanders. That is why, for many years, I have rejected many a tempting offer that was supposed to lure me to the Netherlands. Manteau was my home. In 1986, the company went through a tough crisis, which forced me to go north. There simply weren’t any more Flemish publishing houses back then. But I kept repeating that I wasn’t happy about it. With the creation of the publishing house Meulenhoff | Manteau, nothing could stop me from returning home.’

Publisher Harold Polis: ‘I grew up reading his books and now I can publish them myself. When you absolutely love literature, it’s a magical experience. I think Walter van den Broeck is one of the greatest writers ever. There are many affinities with other writers in the Meulenhoff | Manteau fund. For the last six years, we have all been working on a successful literary fund, with many new names, beautiful books, awards and modern-day classics. With Walter van den Broeck coming back home, we will continue our work with even more ambition, curiosity and love. Furthermore, to my knowledge, Walter is the only European writer to master mirror-writing. Could come in handy in our business…’

Walter van den Broeck is one of the most important writers in post-war Dutch literature. He has written an impressive series of novels about us, about who we are and what we want. In Dutch literature, his tetralogy Het beleg van Laken (The Siege of Laken) is just as important as Het verdriet van België (The Sorrow of Belgium) by Hugo Claus and De Kapellekensbaan (Chapel Road)/Zomer te Ter-Muren (Summer in Ter-Muren) by Louis Paul Boon. His successful novels and stage plays have been awarded with numerous prizes and honours and were adapted for film. His latest novel, De veilingmeester (The Auctioneer), has been selected for the AKO Literature Award 2007 longlist and for the Gouden Uil 2008 longlist.

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