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Geertrui Daem

Daen often writes her stories in the local vernacular of the area where she grew up and uses her own childhood experiences. The stories usually focus on the clash between a young girl’s dreams and the harsh reality of the world. This can be heard in her contribution for Radiobooks – a modern fairy tale complete with the requisite cruelty one associates with the Brothers Grimm.

“Papa cursed and scolded and hit me before he even got in the door of our modest rented dwelling, Number 7 Happy Future Street. He knew I’d gotten a bad report from school before he had even seen it. The stick was always ready behind the door…  Papa grabbed the stick and raised it high in his left hand, while he leafed through my school report with the other. He could smell my fear which made his contempt even greater.”

‘Worthless’ by Geertrui Daem was translated by Michael O’Loughlin. The story is read by Jacky Spears.

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Geertrui Daem

Geertrui Daem was born in Aalst in 1952. She formed her own theatre company in 1986 and wrote numerous plays for the group, as well as adapting work by other authors – like a modern version of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ Daem received the Flemish Debut Prize for her first collection of short stories published in 1992. Her first novel ‘Koud’ (Cold) published in 2001 was nominated for the prestigious Libris Literature Prize. In 2006 she won the Louis Paul Boon Prize – named for the renowned Flemish writer who was also born in Aalst and to whom her work is often compared. The jury noted Daem’s strong characters and her use of the Flemish vernacular.

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