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Photo © Chri van Houts
Dutch poet, novelist, and essayist Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012) took the pen name of Bernlef after a blind 8th century Frisian bard. In 1994, he was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize for the entire body of his poetic work. A decade earlier, Bernlef won the Constantijn Huygens Award for his prose. It was as a novelist that he reached a wide audience in 1984 with Hersenschimmen (Out of Mind) in which the onslaught of dementia brought on by Alzheimer’s disease was written about from the point of view of the man afflicted. It has been translated into some 20 languages.

Books by Bernlef

A Still Life: Selected Poems (1960-2010)