Christopher Brookmyre, Jennifer Egan, Julien Green, Jessica Durlacher, Carmen Laforet

De Schotse schrijver Christopher Brookmyre werd geboren op 6 september 1968 in Glasgow. Na zijn studie Engelse literatuur –en theaterwetenschappen aan de universiteit van zijn geboortestad werkte hij als journalist in Londen, Los Angeles en Edingburgh. In 1996 verscheen, na drie mislukte pogingen, zijn eerste roman Quite Ugly One Morning, waarin de hooffiguur van vier van zijn boeken Jack Parlabane voor het eerst optreedt, een onderzoeksjournalist die de grenzen van het toelaatbare opzoekt. Brookmyres boeken zijn met veel satire geschreven thrillers, waarin de kritiek op de Engelse maatschappij en politiek niet ontbreekt.

Uit: Not the End of the World


“`Don’t sweat it, Larry, it’s a walk in the park.’

Oh, gee, thanks, Larry thought. He was sure it had the potential to be a walk in the park and a precedent for being a walk in the park, but now that Bannon had gone and said that, he figured he’d better be on the lookout for gang wars, serial killers, King Kong and Godzilla.

Not that Larry wasn’t on the lookout for all of the above anyway, these days, although not for the same reasons as everybody else in this screwed-up town.

`Just as long as I ain’t goin’ down there to hear any Chamber of Commerce requests to lay off bustin’ the delegates for coke on account of the valuable trade they’re bringin’ into Santa M.’

Bannon laughed, shaking his head. Larry figured if the captain had known him a bit longer he’d have placed a daddy-knows-best hand on his shoulder, too.

`Larry, for the most part, this is the shitcan end of the movie business. European art-faggots, Taiwanese kung-fu merchants and LA independents workin’ out of fortieth-floor broom closets in mid-Wilshire. Unless they clean up at the Pacific Vista these two weeks, they can’t afford any coke. Goin’ by the budgets of their movies, you’re more likely gonna be bustin’ them for solvent abuse. There won’t be any trouble, I guarantee it.’

Thanks again.

`The movie market moved down here to the coast from the Beverly Center about seven years back, and there’s never been a hint of a problem in all that time.’

Yeah, keep it coming,Larrythought. You’ve just about got it thoroughly hexed for me now.    

`These guys, they come here from all over the US and all around the world,’ Bannon explained. `They show each other their shitty movies, they press flesh, they schmooze, and if they’re lucky, they do some deals. Close of business they hit the seafood restaurants, throw ass-kissing parties to impress each other, try and get laid, then it’s back to their hotels and up at eight to start over. I did your job the first three years. No trick to it. It’s a figurehead deal. In their minds you’re kind of the LAPD’s corporate representative, someone who’ll show his face every so often, smile a lot, and tell them nothing of any substance if they ask questions.”


Christopher Brookmyre (Glasgow, 6 september 1968)


 De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jennifer Egan werd geboren in Chicago op 6 september 1962. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2007.

Uit: The Keep


“The castle was falling apart, but at 2 a.m. under a useless moon, Danny couldn’t see this. What he saw looked solid as hell: two round towers with an arch between them and across that arch was an iron gate that looked like it hadn’t moved in three hundred years or maybe ever.

He’d never been to a castle before or even this part of the world, but something about it all was familiar to Danny. He seemed to remember the place from a long time ago, not like he’d been here exactly but from a dream or a book. The towers had those square indentations around the top that little kids put on castles when they draw them. The air was cold with a smoky bite, like fall had already come even though it was mid-August and people in New York were barely dressed. The trees were losing their leaves-Danny felt them landing in his hair and heard them crunching under his boots when he walked. He was looking for a doorbell, a knocker, a light: some way into this place or at least a way to find the way in. He was getting pessimistic.

Danny had waited two hours in a gloomy little valley town for a bus to this castle that never frigging came before he looked up and saw its black shape against the sky. Then he’d started to walk, hauling his Samsonite and satellite dish a couple of miles up this hill, the Samsonite’s puny wheels catching on boulders and tree roots and rabbit holes. His limp didn’t help. The whole trip had been like that: one hassle after another starting with the red eye from Kennedy that got towed into a field after a bomb threat, surrounded by trucks with blinky red lights and giant nozzles that were comforting up until you realized their job was to make sure the fireball only incinerated those poor suckers who were already on the plane. So Danny had missed his connection to Prague and the train to wherever the hell he was now, some German-sounding town that didn’t seem to be in Germany. Or anywhere else-Danny couldn’t even find it online, although he hadn’t been sure about the spelling. Talking on the phone to his Cousin Howie, who owned this castle and had paid Danny’s way to help out with the renovation, he’d tried to nail down some details.”


Jennifer Egan (Chicago, 6 september 1962)


De Frans – Amerikaanse schrijver Julien Green werd geboren op 6 september 1900 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2006.

 Uit: Journal 1928-1934


En dixième, on nous confiait aux soins de Mlle Blondeau. Elle récompensait notre bonne conduite d’une minuscule dragée et nous punissait d’une légère tape dont il fallait la remercier à genoux. En huitième, nous tremblions sous la barbe rousse de M . Noyer dont les colères étaient imprévisibles, car il passait brusquement d’une attitude paternelle et bienveillante à la saeva indignatio du professeur outragé par une vétille. Dans ces moments-là, il m’inspirait une peur horrible, dégradante, mais mon camarade Trissaud qui était assis à ma gauche, souriait ironiquement sous l’orage avec une bravoure qui me semblait inexplicable. Il était le fils d’un officier […]

En sixième nous étions des hommes. Nous passions en effet sous la domination de M. Mougeot qui nous parlait comme à des grandes personnes et nous tenait un langage d’autant plus flatteur pour la plupart d’entre nous qu’il était incompréhensible. À cause de cela nous l’aimions ; sa colère même nous plaisait. Car la colère de M. Noyer était tout bonnement épouvantable comme la colère du taureau que travaille un taon, mais M. Mougeot ne renonçait jamais au beau langage et sa colère avait un mouvement superbe […]

Toutes ces choses me reviennent confusément à l’esprit quand je vois des enfants courir dans la rue avec leur serviette sous le bras. J’ai conservé de mes années de collège un grand respect pour mes professeurs. Il me semble en effet, que la France de ce temps-là n’avait rien de plus honnête, de plus sérieux ni de plus désintéressé que le corps enseignant. Si différent qu’ils fussent les uns des autres, mes professeurs avaient en commun ceci que je n’ai pu démêler qu’avec le temps : c’étaient des idéalistes… »



Julien Green (6 september 1900 – 13 augustus 1998)


De Nederlandse schrijfster Jessica Durlacher werd geboren in Amsterdam op 6 september 1961. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2007.


Uit: Zwartboek liegt


”Ondanks de heersende mode, die voorschrijft de tweedeling in goed versus fout radicaal te verwerpen en de nuance in de visie op de tweede wereldoorlog te laten prevaleren, heeft niemand mij er tot op heden van kunnen overtuigen dat de meeste Duitsers geen nazi’s waren, dat mijn grootouders niet zijn vermoord in concentratiekampen door Duitse beulen, dat mijn vader als klein jongetje in Duitsland niet tijdens schooluren in elkaar werd geramd door zijn antisemitistische klasgenootjes, en dat hij niet op het nippertje aan de goede kant van de rij kwam te staan tijdens de selectie van de heer Mengele. Een dokter die vast ook heel erg dol op kunst was en lief voor zijn parkiet.

Mijn vader vond het onzin om een heel volk te haten en wie was ik om hem tegen te spreken? Dat vond ik al heel genuanceerd van mezelf.’



Jessica Durlacher (Amsterdam, 6 september 1961)



De Spaanse schrijfster Carmen Laforet werd geboren op 6 september 1921 in Barcelona. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2006.


Uit: Nada


Because of last-minute difficulties in buying tickets, I arrived in Barcelona at midnight on a train different from the one I had announced, and nobody was waiting for me.

It was the first time I had traveled alone, but I wasn’t frightened; on the contrary, this profound freedom at night seemed like an agreeable and exciting adventure to me. Blood was beginning to circulate in my stiff legs after the long, tedious trip, and with an astonished smile I looked around at the huge Francia Station and the groups forming of those who were waiting for the express and tho
se of us who had arrived three hours late.

The special smell, the loud noise of the crowd, the invariably sad lights, held great charm for me, since all my impressions were enveloped in the wonder of having come, at last, to a big city, adored in my daydreams because it was unknown.

I began to follow—a drop in the current—the human mass that, loaded down with suitcases, was hurrying toward the exit. My luggage consisted of a large bag, extremely heavy because it was packed full of books, which I carried myself with all the strength of my youth and eager anticipation.

An ocean breeze, heavy and cool, entered my lungs along with my first confused impression of the city: a mass of sleeping houses, of closed establishments, of streetlights like drunken sentinels of solitude. Heavy, labored breathing came with the whispering of dawn. Close by, behind me, facing the mysterious narrow streets that led to the Borne, above my excited heart, was the ocean.

I must have seemed a strange figure with my smiling face and my old coat blown by the wind and whipping around my legsas I guarded my suitcase, distrustful of the obsequious “porters.”

I remember that in a very few minutes I was alone on the broad sidewalk because people ran to catch one of the few taxis or struggled to crowd onto the streetcar.



Carmen Laforet (6 september 1921 – 28 februari 2004)