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Niña Weijers  [ The Netherlands ]

Biography

Portrait Weijers
© Annaleen Louwes

Guest 2016.

Bibliography

Die Konsequenzen

Suhrkamp

Berlin, 2016

[Ü: Helga van Beuningen]

Niña Weijers was born in 1987 in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, where she also grew up, and studied literary theory in Amsterdam and Dublin. Her short stories, essays and articles have been published in a range of literary magazines such as »Das Magazin«, »De Revisor« and »De Gids«, where she also works as an editor. She is a regular contributor to the weekly magazine »De Groene Amsterdammer«.

After one of Weijers’ short stories was awarded the jury prize of Write Now!, a writing competition, in 2010, her novel »De consequenties« (2014; tr. The consequences) was not only nominated for the Libris Prize and Gouden Boekenuil, the two most distinguished Dutch and Flemish literary awards, but also won the Opzij Prize, the Lucy B. & C. W. van der Hoogt Prize, as well as the Anton Wachter Prize for best debut novel. »De consequenties« was primarily written during a sojourn in Berlin, and while she was working for the Amsterdam arts center SPUI25, where Weijers created the chat show »Weijers en Van Saarloos «. Co-hosted by Weijers and the philosopher Simone van Saarloos, invited guests have backgrounds in the arts, sciences and journalism. In »De consequenties« a young artist commissions a photographer to follow her around and document her life. Her experience of having been born prematurely, which entailed being constantly monitored, is narrated in parallel, raisin the question of what consequences our experiences have and how they shape us. In the young woman’s case this can be viewed as an unconscious attempt to replicate the past in order to find release from unprocessed traumas, even though her photographic experiment eventually puts her in great danger. A review in the »NRC Handelsblad« noted that the life and art of the protagonist in this highly imaginative and ambitious book, center in equal measure on the themes of loss, presence and vanishing, an observation shared by Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom, who considers Weijers to be on par with established writers such as Hella Haasse, Anna Enquist and Margriet de Moor. He also stated that Weijers’ skill consists in making heavy-hitting topics seem light and – as in this novel – to allow a character’s thoughts to obsessively go round in circles without boring the reader.

At the end of 2014, Weijers was the first writer in residence at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht as part of an initiative by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. She lives in Amsterdam.

[http://www.ninaweijers.nl/]

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