Peter Orner

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:

De Amerikaanse schrijver Peter Orner werd in 1968 in Chicago geboren. Hij studeerde af aan de Universiteit van Michigan in 1990 en verwierf later een graad in de rechten van de Northeastern University en een MFA van de Iowa Writer’s Workshop..Zijn oudere broer is Eric Orner, de maker van de strip The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green. Orner heeft lange tijd gewerkt in Kamp Nebagamon, een overnachtingskamp in het noorden van Wisconsin , waar hij o.a. adviseur en reisleider was. Hij heeft ook gewerkt als waarnemer mensenrechten in Chiapas, Mexico, als taxichauffeur in Iowa. Orners verhalen en essays zijn verschenen in de Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Paris Review en elders. Hij won twee keer won de Pushcart Prize. Orner kreeg een Guggenheim Fellowship (2006), evenals het 2 jaar durende Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2007-2008). Een van Orner ’s verhalen, “The Raft” werd verfilmd. In 2001 verscheen de bundel “Esther Stories”, waarvoor hij o.a. de Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters ontving. In 2006 publiceerde hij zijn roman “The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo”, een roman die speelt in Namibië, waar Orner in de jaren negentig werkte. In 2011 volgde “Love and Shame and Love”, winnaar van de California Book Award. In 2013 verscheen een nieuwe bundel verhalen “Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge”. Orner is professor Creative Writing aan de San Francisco State University en heeft gedoceerd aan de Writers ‘ Workshop van de Universiteit van Iowa, The Warren Wilson MFA Program van de University of Montana, Washington University, de Universiteit van Miami, Bard College en de Karelsuniversiteit in Praag.

Uit: The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo

“The Volunteer

A brother from the diocese drove me out there from Windhoek. His name was Brother Hermanahildis. He was a silent man with a bald, sunburned head. The single thing he said to me in four hours was “I am not a Boer, I am pure Dutch. I was born in The Hague.” He drove like a lunatic. I watched the veld wing by, and the towns that were so far between. Brakwater, Okahandja, Wilhelmstal. Brother Hermanahildis seemed to be suffering from an excruciating toothache. At times he took both hands off the wheel and pulled on his face. I was relieved when we reached Karibib and he turned onto a gravel road heading south. Eventually, he let me off at a wind-battered tin sign—farm goas—and told me to follow the road, that the mission was just beyond the second ridge. When you get there, Brother Hermanahildis said, go and see the Father directly.
Ta-ta. With a suitcase in each hand, one backpack on my back, another on my stomach, I followed the road, a rock-strewn double-track across the veld. There were a number of ridges. I looked for one that might be considered a second one. The short rocky hills made it impossible to see what was ahead on the road, although in the distance I could see a cluster of smallish mountains rising. A few crooked, bony trees here and there. Strawlike grass grew like stubble up out of the gravel. Somehow I thought a purer desert might have been more comforting. Where were the perfect rippled dunes? Where was the startling arid beauty? These plants looked like they’d rather be dead. I listened to the crunch of my own feet as I shuffled up and over ridges. There was no second ridge. There would never be a second ridge.
An hour or so later, sweat-soaked, miserable, I stood, weighted and wobbly, and looked down on a place where the land swooped into a kind of valley, a flat stretch of sand and gravel. There was a group of low-slung buildings painted a loud, happy yellow.
There was a hill with a tall white cross on top. Hallelujah! As best I could I bumbled down the road until I reached a cattle gate made from bedsprings lashed to a post. The gate was latched closed by a complicated twist of wire. As I struggled with the wire, a rotund man in a khaki suit moved slowly but inevitably down the road toward me, as if being towed by his own stomach. When he reached the other side of the gate he stopped. He faced me for a moment before he spoke much louder than he needed to. “Howdy.”

Peter Orner (Chicago, 1968)