Jan van Aken, born in Herwen en Aerdt, the Netherlands, in 1961. Novelist and lecturer at the Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam.
Writer-in-Residence (1 September 2007 – 31 January 2008)
HISTORIC NOVEL: THE APOSTATE
During my stay at NIAS I finished my book on the poet Hipponax: “King for one day.” This took more time than I had expected. I wrote and gave a lecture about poetry which has reprimanded through the ages in Theatre De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam. I wrote and published a short story; did two book reviews for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad; did the research for several future novels; and worked on my opera libretto. I worked on my three classes in creative writing and coached one student individually.
The novel in progress The Apostate that was my goal for this period has now reached 100,000 words. It has been and will be, a constant process of adding and subtracting. I learned a lot about everything from the fellows, who were an inspiration for my work and for my life. I have not as yet finished my first draft, but the manuscript has yielded higher levels of meaning and complexity.