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Kristien Hemmerechts

Biography

Kristien Hemmerechts (1955) is the Flemish author of over twenty novels, short story collections and essays. Although she wrote her first short stories in English (for Faber and Faber’s First Fictions series), since her 1987 debut novel Een zuil van zout (A Pillar of Salt), she has been writing in Dutch. Hemmerechts received both the Flemish Community’s Prize for Fiction (1990) and the Frans Kellendonk Prize (1993) for her oeuvre. The biographical essay Taal zonder mij (Language Without Me, 1998) was written after the death of her husband, the celebrated poet Herman de Coninck, and was praised by readers and critics alike. In early 2010, she published De dood heeft mij een aanzoek gedaan (Death Proposed to Me), a diary on death, life and love, to critical acclaim.

Kristien Hemmerechts is a graduate of Dutch and English and she obtained a doctoral degree with a dissertation on Jean Rhys. She is a professor of English Literature in Brussels and teaches creative writing at Antwerp’s Herman Teirlinck Institute. She is also active as a patron for a local organisation that labours for people with mental problems and is a regular literary supplement and op-ed contributor in several Dutch and Flemish newspapers and magazines.

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