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Diane Broeckhoven

Biography

Diane Broeckhoven was born in Antwerp in 1946. She studied Dutch literature and rhetoric at Antwerp's Royal Conservatorium. At the age of twenty-four she moved to the Netherlands where she lived and worked for thirty years before returning to her birthplace. As a freelance journalist she's written for numerous Dutch and Flemish publications.


Broeckhoven began writing books for children and young readers in 1980. She is particularly known for introducing difficult themes not usually found in children's literature. She won numerous awards for her 1986 book Een dood vogeltje (A Dead Little Bird) which concerned the death of a child. Her 1997 book Kristalnacht (Crystal Night) is about a young girl named Lara who finds out her uncle has AIDS. Lara and her friends deal with this much better than the adults in the story. The book was honoured by two separate children's juries.


Broeckhoven began writing fiction for adults in 1998. Her 2001 novel De buitenkant van Meneer Jules (The Outside of Mr. Jules) has been translated into several languages and became a bestseller in Germany. It portrays a woman who, after the death of her husband, finds unexpected comfort from the autistic son of a neighbor.

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