Manon Uphoff

© Gerlinde de Geus
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Manon Uphoff

1962, Utrecht
Gifted storyteller. Has also written three remarkable novels.

Manon Uphoff’s début was in 1995 with a collection of short stories entitled Begeerte, which was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. Her first novel Gemis (1997), a provocative portrait of an adolescent girl, was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize. She subsequently wrote another collection of short stories, three novellas and a novel, which were also critically acclaimed. Her most recent novel, De spelers (2009), is about the love relationship between a Dutch woman and a refugee from Sarajevo. She moved to write the book as a result of her visit to the former Yugoslavia after the civil war. Even though the aftermath of war is constantly in the background, the book bursts with vitality. Uphoff's oeuvre is focused primarily on her characters' unusual inner worlds, the irrational behaviour of these quirky personalities, and their place in an equally curious family. Uphoff is commended for her great expressive power and her laconic, yet sharp, language. Her compact stories often have a fairy tale-like quality about them, yet as they progress they invariably turn out to be dark tales - enchanting yet dangerous. Her work has been translated into German and English.

Links   Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   De Bezige Bij   Edition Fünf

Recently translated into German

I Wish My Piano Were a Horse
Edition Fünf, 2016
Translated by Bettina Bach, Helga van Beuningen, Anna Carstens, Doris Hermanns, Andrea Kluitmann, Christiane Kuby
Original title: Wär mein Klavier doch ein Pferd - Erzählungen aus den Niederlanden

15 stories by fourteen women authors from the Netherlands, written over the last century, told with open eyes for the absurdities and impositions of life. The authors give us laconic, direct, funny and tragic accounts of key moments in childhood and adulthood and of dramas that shake the foundation of their characters’ lives. As varied as their backgrounds are - traditional Dutch,  colonial or Jewish - , they have a strong focus on the point where individuals and the world at large meet and the difficult balance between self-assertion and acceptance of others. With stories by: Maria Dermoût, Josepha Mendels, Elisabeth Augustin, Annie M. G. Schmidt, Marga Minco, Helga Ruebsamen, Margriet de Moor, Ellen Ombre, Jill, Anneloes Timmerije, Manon Uphoff, Sanneke van Hassel, Esther Gerritsen, and Maartje Wortel.