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Stephan Enter

Stephan Enter was born in 1973 and raised in what he calls a ‘Calvinist environment’ in the villages of Voorthuizen and Barneveld. He attended university in Utrecht where he studied Dutch and Celtic.

Enter made his literary debut in 1999 with a collection of six long stories under the title ‘Winterhanden’ (Chilblained Hands). The relationship of a couple introduced in the last story became the basis for his first novel ‘Lichtjaren’ (Light Years) published in 2004. Both books were nominated for the prestigious Libris Literature Prize.

Eye for detail
Critics have praised Enter for his finely attuned eye for detail – both in the atmosphere of a place and in the nature of his characters. His work is often compared to Gerard Reve, one of the “great three” post-war Dutch writers, for its combination of formal and colloquial language – as well as his use of humour and irony.

He spent three years writing his second novel ‘Spel’ (Game). In twelve chapters – each a complete story on it’s own – he depicts a number of scenes from the childhood of an intelligent village boy from age nine to nineteen. A game features in each story but ultimately the opponent is the world outside.

One of the chapters is included in the collection ‘Best European Fiction 2010’ published by Dalkey Archive Press. It was translated by Imogen Cohen who also translated his Radio Books story.

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

This author's Radio Book:

Stephan Enter

A young man decides to enlist for military service after graduation from high school. He quickly realizes he’s made a serious error in judgment.

“Not everyone saw things the way I did: most of the guys in my 40-strong platoon – burly lads with the guileless ambition to become lorry drivers or tile setters – were taking pleasure, if not utter delight, in sticking up and defacing pornographic posters, burping on demand and releasing the entire contents of their bladder into each other’s clodhoppers, as our rock-hard combat boots were affectionately called. Of course, the others noticed that I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy, which didn’t make me popular. But they left me alone – except the time I had the nerve to read a book in bed…”

'Instincts’ by Stephan Enter was translated by Imogen Cohen. It’s read by Chris Chambers.

Produced by Radio Netherlands Wordwide

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