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Ivo Michiels

Ivo Michiels (b. 1923) was born as Henri Ceuppens into a rural Catholic family in Mortsel near Antwerp. After the war, and through self-study, cultural contacts and travel, he acquired the knowledge he needed for the broad range of jobs he had during his life. In addition to being a novelist he was a journalist, founded leading magazines and taught at art and drama schools. Moreover, Michiels worked on programmes for Belgian radio and television and wrote scenarios for short films, films and documentaries.

He made his debut in 1946 with a collection of poems called Begrensde verten. He wrote his first novels in a traditional style. Through his symbolic novel Het afscheid (1957) he developed through Journal brut in 1958 towards experimental prose. From Alfa (1963), which is now regarded as a classic, onwards, he could be described as a formalistic writer who sets aside everything typical of traditional narrative to arrive at a text that brings about direct contact with the reader.
His work has won various prizes in the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1977 he was awarded the Belgian State Prize for Narrative Prose for Een tuin tussen hond en wolf. In 1990 he won the Emile Bernheim Prize for his work as a whole and in 1993 he was awarded the triennial Flemish Community Prize.

Vlaams Nederlands Huis de Buren Radio Netherlands The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature

This author's Radio Book:

Ivo Michiels
Amandine, or a thousand letters of love

Every now and then she has to open doors for colleagues of the Red Cross aid agency, but she also writes love letters to Ludovic who works as a ticket inspector for the National Railway Company. Although she never gets a reply she has no intention of giving up her love for the man who once caught a glimpse of her red knickers. She decides to deliver the thousandth letter to Ludovic's house personally.

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