Stefan Brijs

© Melanie Elst
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Stefan Brijs

1969, Genk
Writer. Taught himself to write. Lives in Spain.

Stefan Brijs studied to be a teacher, and then got a job teaching at his former secondary school. In 1997, he made his debut with the Baroque, magical realism novel De verwording (Degeneration), attracting immediate attention for the great talent he displayed. He also received high praise for Arend (2000), about a disfigured boy trying to find himself. His international breakthrough however came with De engelenmaker (The Angel Maker, 2005), about a doctor with triplets named after angels. In a rigid, nearly impassive style, Brijs develops a strong plot, and sets himself apart through the surprising relationship between and the manner in which he plays with the themes. The book won many prizes, both in Flanders and abroad. With his WWI epic Post voor mevrouw Bromley (Post For Mrs. Bromley, 2011) and the Antillean generational novel Maan en zon [Moon and Sun; German title:Taxi Curaçao, 2015], he continues with the same zeal. In addition to novels, Brijs also writes collections of essays such as De vergeethoek (Forgotten Corner, 2003), containing literary portraits of forgotten Flemish writers. His work has been translated into more than 15 languages.


  Lesezelt: Dimitri Verhulst, Eva Cossee, Stefan Brijs, & Bert Wagendorp   Meet the Makers: Bregje Hofstede, Stefan Brijs & Jaap Robben   Inspired: Stefan Brijs   Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   BTB   Atlas Contact

Recently translated into German

Moon and Sun
BTB Verlag, 2016
Translated by Stefanie Schäfer
Original title: Maan en zon (Atlas Contact, 2015)

Curaçao, 1961. On a September morning taxi driver Roy Tromp enrolls his twelve-year-old son Max in Brother Daniel’s class. Max proves to be a talented boy who dreams of becoming a teacher. Brother Daniel, himself a child of the island, decides to help him achieve this. Forty years later, that dream has come to nothing and Max leaves unexpectedly for the Netherlands, perhaps for good. During a sleepless night, Brother Daniel thinks back on his special relationship with the Tromp family. In the meantime he hopes for news from Max. Against the background of a society caught between tradition and modernisation, past and present, Moon and Sun (German title: Taxi Curaçao) is a generational novel about origin and poverty, honour and deceit – a story about fathers and sons and the spirit of an island.
In the family saga Moon and Sun, Stefan Brijs tells the story not in a maudlin, but a brisk and subtly gripping way. […] Brijs keeps just enough distance to give the story depth, and to avoid an activist’s oversimplification. Which makes it all the more realistic. Thus Brijs has managed to make the literary update of Curaçao embodied in Moon and Sun into something both moving and fascinating.

NRC Handelsblad

The sentences are clear, accessible, unpolished, sometimes to the point of austerity. Brijs tells the story at great speed, in a forceful voice – which doesn’t mean he doesn’t allow himself any sentiment. […] Stefan Brijs, in his great Antillean Novel, shows how much and yet how little a life is worth. A hair-raising feat.

HP/De Tijd