Authors / Hugo Claus

Hugo Claus

Hugo Claus

© Stephan Vanfleteren

Hugo Claus (1929-2008) ranks as the most important Flemish writer after the WWII. His supremely realistic work broke with a traditional way of writing. Characteristic of this early work is a suprising and powerful style combined with an effervescent use of language. Later his prose became more sober in tone but the poetic force has always remained, as has his ability to cause a sensation. His wide-ranging oeuvre consists of novels, stories, poems, plays and film scripts. Claus has received more than fifty prizes, including seven Belgian or Flemish National Awards, several Dutch awards, he also received the Belgian-Dutch Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (1986), the most important literary prize for a Dutch writing author. International prizes include the Prix Lugné-Poë (1955), the Ford Foundation Grant (1959), the Prix International Pier Paolo Pasolini (1997), the Aristeion Literature Prize (1998), the Premio Nonino (2000) and the Preis für Europäische Poesie (2001).


Recent titles:

Een zachte vernieling (A Gentle Destruction), 2020

De geruchten (The Rumours), 2018


Press on The Rumours:

Impressive, incisive and wise. - NRC Handelsblad

The text radiates a delight in writing. - De Morgen

With a virtuoso’s touch, Claus the novelist skirts the abyss of topical events... such narrative élan... a wonderful, often lyrical style. - Het Parool

As always, Claus shows his formidable range of language. Even when writing prose, Claus never neglects the fact that he is a poet. - Trouw

Press on The Sorrow of Belgium:

This is The Great Belgian Novel. An upsetting book. - The Times

Hugo Claus's masterwork ... a magnificent anecdotal monster of a novel that now may be destined to become a cult book in the Englishspeaking world as it has done elsewhere in Europe. - Times Literary Supplement

The sorrow of Belgium is a long, dense, rich novel, intensely moral and poetic ... His caracterizations of nuns, priests and long-suffering grandmothers are quite equal of anything Proust ever described. - The New York Times Book Review

The Sorrow is Belgium. - The New Statesman

Hugo Claus's novel is terribly good ... the sort of novel Joyce might have gone to write. - Financial Times

Le Chagrin des Belges va faire le tour de France et a tout pour devenir un 'classique'. - Le Monde

Un roman tout à fait extraordinaire. A lire absolument. - Le Figaro