Tuesday 04 October 2022

Prize-winning author Hafid Bouazza dies aged 51

Hafid Bouazza. Photo: Henriette Guest ANP

Dutch-Moroccan writer Hafid Bouazza has died aged 51, his publishers Querido announced on Thursday.

The author, who died at the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam, had well-documented addiction issues and had been in bad health for a long time, Querido said.

Bouazza, who came to the Netherlands in 1977 when he was seven, debuted in 1996 with the short story collection De voeten van Abdullah (Abdullah’s feet) which was given E. du Perron prize, a local Tilburg award for people who promote ‘mutual understanding between groups in the Netherlands’.

His best known book, Paravion, about three generations of families in a Moroccan village and their relationships with the people who left to emigrate, earned him the AKO prize for literature in 2004.

His last novel, Meriswin, was published in 2014 and he was working on a book for publisher Hollands Diep when he died. Bouazzi also translated poetry from Arabic, French and English.

Bouazza was a vocal critic of Islam. In his book Leven zonder God (Living without God) he slated ‘the terrible lack of empathy, that small-mindedness’, which he thought characterised Islam and religions in general.

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