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IThe time had come at last, at 53, to write the book he was destined for. The novel, De wraak van Baudelaire, won him the Hercule Poirot Prize 2007, the most prestigious suspense novel Prize in Belgium, and was published in French, Russian, and English. Baudelaire’s Revenge, published in 2014 in the USA, introduced him internationally as a writer of cross-over novels between literature and the crime novel

n the next five years, Dangerous Obsessions and Heart Fever, two short story collections, and the novel Return to Hiroshima followed. Venturing into the vast English-reading market was no easy trip, but gradually the recognition abroad grew. Now, picture this 65-year old author of 39 books and translations in nine languages, living in a tiny country – Belgium - at the other side of the Ocean, with a life story that seems as surrealistic as Magritte’s paintings, still struggling to hold on to the inner fire he felt 48 years ago. Oh, he’s busy and successful all right, but sometimes, when mornings hover misty over the prairies and the forest around his house, he hears his beloved horses whinny, and muses about his youth, remembering how he was standing at the edge of the vast pine woods that surrounded his village, shouting Baudelaire’s verses at the trees, which, unresponsively, absorbed every syllable and every word, and wonders: was that truly me? To know the answer, the writer has to listen to faint murmuring, deep in the darkness in himself, like the cracking of innumerable insect wings.

Sans cesse à mes cotés s’agite le Démon Il nage autour de moi comme un air impalpable Je l’avale et le sens qui brûle mon poumon Et l’emplit d’un désir éternel et coupable.

Profile for ElectricPress

Electric Press - literary insights magazine. May 2019 edition.