“What I am reflecting on is that I have to forgive people, events, time, the world, the country and probably also myself in order to be able to write. Your Clarice Lispector was trying this, I assume, and somehow apparently she managed. Or maybe I should say this: I am writing in order to forgive.”
— Ece Temelkuran (Turkey), Letter to Annelies Beck, 15 August 2016
Gustaaf Peek (b. 1975) is a Dutch writer and editor at the literary magazine De Revisor. After his debut novel Armin (2006), his breakthrough came with Ik was Amerika (2010), for which he won the BNG Nieuwe Literatuurprijs and the F. Bordewijk-prijs. Thinking that there were ‘already enough stories about illusionless sex ’, Peek wrote the much discussed novel Godin, held (2014), in which he recounts an erotic relationship backwards and in explicit detail. Godin, held was nominated in 2015 for the Libris Literatuurprijs.
In a contentious interview with Vrij Nederland, Peek recently spoke out on social issues such as poverty and the welfare state: “I think a lot about the welfare state, I firmly believe in it. We have to go back to the starting point: a welfare state that maintains society and that alleviates and relieves the needs. We are now saddled with something as perverse as the mortgage tax relief, something on which billions have been wasted over decades already. There are people – I know them very well – who complain about art subsidies, but the mortgage tax relief for their villa surpasses the combined subsidies of a whole load of writers. The welfare state is serving the wrong people.”