Edward van de Vendel [ The Netherlands ]
Edward van de Vendel, born in Leerdam in the Netherlands in 1964, studied education before working as a teacher and school head at a primary school. He became a full-time writer in 2001.
By that time he had already published his debut, »Betrap me« (1996, t: Catch Me), a collection of children’s poetry. With some 50 picture books, poetry collections, novels and non-fiction books he is not only one of the most productive but also one of the most versatile children’s and youth book authors in the Netherlands. Atmospherically dense and exhibiting a high level of empathy, van de Vendel’s text depicts childhood and the process of growing up. His youth novel »De dagen van de bluegrassliefde« (2001, t: The days of bluegrass love) describes an encounter between two 18-year-olds at an American summer camp. Love blossoms between Oliver and Tycho, with the sound of country music and the expanse of the football field all around them. Impressive instalments in this story came with »Ons derde lichaam« (2006, t: Our third body) and the verse collection »Chatbox – De gedichten van Tycho Zeling« (2006, t: Chatbox – the poems of Tycho Zeling). Elmer and Sosha are the young protagonists of the award-winning children’s love story »Wat ik vergat« (2001, t: »What I forgot«). With sensitivity and humour, Van de Vendel examines the emotional confusion caused by the onset of puberty. The verse collections »Superguppie« (2003, t: Superguppy), »Superguppie krijgt kleintjes« (2005, t: Superguppy has babies), »De groeten van Superguppie« (2005, t: Greetings from Superguppy) and »Hoera voor Superguppie!« (2010, t: Hurray for Superguppy!) feature a small child, rendered as a clever dog by illustrator Fleur van der Weel, philosophising about supermarket trolleys, eating jelly and Grandma’s wrinkles. In the highly praised »De gelukvinder« (2008, t: The boy who found happiness), van de Vendel tells the story of Hamayun, who flees Afghanistan with his family, finally arriving in the Netherlands after a months-long odyssey where they apply for asylum and battle bureaucracy for recognition. The author wrote the book in collaboration with Anoush Elman, the inspiration for the story.
Van de Vendel’s work has been translated into more than ten languages and awarded numerous prizes, including three Gouden Zoens, six Zilveren Griffels and the Woutertje Pieterse Prijs. He lives in Rotterdam.
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