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Bart Koubaa

 Bart Koubaa is the literary pseudonym for Bart van den Bossche. Born in Eelko in 1968, he studied philosophy at the University of Ghent for a year before a move to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts to study film and photography. After living in Spain for a time, he returned to Ghent to study Arabic.

Koubaa's first novel Vuur ('Fire') explored the relationship between a boy and his tyrannical grandfather living in a gypsy camp. The book won the 2000 Flemish Debut Prize. When selected by the Flemish Minister of Culture for a project to encourage reading, 40,000 copies were distributed to the pubic free-of-charge.His second novel Lucht ('Air') spans the period in Japanese history from World War II to the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The story revolves around a Japanese translator working for the FBI who makes a vital mistake that results in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Upon returning to Japan the man resolves to represent the entire cosmos in the seventeen syllables of a haiku. In just 124 pages, Koubaa brings the life of an ordinary man into direct contact with historical events contrasting Eastern and Western philosophies of life.

His book Het gebied van Nevski takes the reader inside the mind of a professor suffering from aphasia after an accident. A neurologist advises him to write every day to aid his recovery. "Our brain is the battlefield of a constant Darwinian war," says Koubaa, "where everything is fighting, every word, every memory."  In 2009 he published his fourth novel: De leraar ('The teacher')




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

This author's Radio Book:

Bart Koubaa
The final judgment

"I want to write about the world," says award-winning Flemish author Bart Koubaa. His novels have explored gypsy culture and Japanese history. His Radiobooks story is a Kafkaesque courtroom drama.

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