The Dutch writer, lyricist, novelist and translator J Bernlef – pseudonym for Henrik Jan Marsman – died at his home in Amsterdam on Monday night. He was 75 years old.
Bernlef’s international reputation began with the publication in several languages of his 1984 novel Out of Mind (Hersenschimmen). This story of illness and aging told from the viewpoint of a man with Alzheimers was filmed in 1988 as Mindshadows by Heddy Honigmann, and shown around the world.
Two more of his books are also available in English translations: Public Secret (1987) and Eclipse (1993).
Bernlef was one of the greats of Dutch literature and won many prizes for his work, including the prestigious Ako Literature Prize and the PC Hoofd Prize.
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