Writersblog

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

The Dutch programme at the International Book Fair in Beijing was cunn... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Dear Dutch publishers. The book fair is over. Perhaps you’ll now... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

The days are full and long. We are incessantly bombarded with impressi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Arriving on the stand on the first day, I’d asked a Chinese visi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Big excitement today since we were finally meeting with Songyu from Fl... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The traffic in Beijing is horrendous, I’m sure the other blogger... >>> read more

Thomas Möhlmann

Thomas Möhlmann, Staff member Dutch Foundation for Literature

What an evening the poets and the approximately 200 onlookers present ... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

It’s now the third day, and the first one with plenty of sun. Un... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

What a great opportunity to learn about the Dutch literature for Chine... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

A duck flies to and fro over the vast expanses of world ocean, despera... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

‘In the era of browsing, we provide reading.’ - Slogan see... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The jewel in the crown of our collection of Arbeiderspers titles publi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The Chinese publishers I have met during the course of my career, the ... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

I have so far never been to a book fair. Nor do I know what to imagine... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Since 2006, I began writing about the Netherlands’ performance a... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

Now that the fair is just round the corner, this is perhaps the moment... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

In two weeks’ time, the official opening of one of the largest b... >>> read more

Ramsey Nasr

Ramsey Nasr, Dutch poet

Ramsey Nasr (b. 1974, Rotterdam) is a poet and author, actor and direc... >>> read more


Anna Enquist

Anna Enquist

  • An evening of poetry
    Date: Fri 2 September Time: 07.00 pm Venue: Trainspotting
  • Anna Enquist discusses The Masterpiece with Xu Kun
    Date: Sat 3 September Time: 02.00 pm Venue: BIBF
  • Counterpoint - concert and lecture by Ivo Janssen and Anna Enquist
    Date: Sun 4 September Time: 7.30 pm Venue: China Conservatory of Music

Life and work

Anna Enquist (b. 1945) is one of the most popular writers in the Netherlands. She trained in piano at the academy of music in the Hague and at the same time studied psychology in Leiden. When she made her debut as a poet in 1991 with the collection Soldatenliederen (‘Soldiers’ Songs’), for which she was awarded the C. Buddingh’ Prize, she was working as a psychoanalyst. Since then she has devoted much of her time to writing. With her first two novels, Het meesterstuk (‘The Masterpiece’, 1995) and Het geheim (‘The Secret’, 1997), psychological novels in which classical music is central, Enquist quickly reached a broad readership. In 2002 she wrote the Book Week Gift, De ijsdragers (‘The Ice Carriers’), and in 2005 she published the major historical novel De thuiskomst (‘The Homecoming’), which focuses on James Cook’s wife Elizabeth Batts. For the French translation of this novel, she received the Prix du Livre Corderie Royale-Hermione. ‘Enquist understands emotion,’ is how one critic has described the appeal of her work.

Het meesterstuk

Anna Enquist has an innate talent for telling stories; they flow as naturally and spontaneously as a mountain stream. Her refined psychological insights clothe her characters in flesh and blood, and her musicality is remarkable, with never a false one.

The Masterpiece is based on Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, Enquist’s modern setting adding an extra dimension to the tale. Johan Steenkamer, a painter driven by ambition and lust, represents Don Juan; always the centre of attention, he aims to be the ultimate focus of everyone’s thoughts, but he is incapable of true love, friendship and intimacy. When his daughter dies, his wife mourns, while he can only lose himself in artistic and erotic adventures until he is utterly isolated, even from his wife. Yet he is able to demonstrate the astonishing power of art by brilliantly capturing his wife’s grief in a portrait he paints of her; he can give himself to art but not to people. Enquist’s portrayal of his tragic position is utterly convincing.

Translation in Chinese

  • Enquist, Anna. [Jiezuo] Chinese / translated from English by Yu Ouyang. Shanghai: Shanghai Literature and Arts Publishing House, 2009. ISBN:9787532136094.

Titles in NLF-database

Authors