Artist Catalog

Jan Wolkers

Born: October 26 1925
Born in: Oegstgeest, Netherlands
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Jan Wolkers

Jan Hendrik Wolkers (Oegstgeest, 26 October 1925 – Texel, 19 October 2007) was a Dutch author, sculptor and painter.

Wolkers is considered one of the "Great Four" writers of post-World War II Dutch literature, alongside Willem Frederik Hermans, Harry Mulisch and Gerard Reve (the latter authors are also known as the "Great Three"). He became noted as an author in the 1960s mainly for his graphic descriptions of sexual acts. His 1969 novel Turks Fruit was translated into ten different languages and published in English as Turkish Delight. It was also made into a highly successful movie, the Paul Verhoeven-directed Turks Fruit (1972) which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and in 1999 won the award for Best Dutch Film of the Century.

Wolkers declined several literary awards. In 1982 he refused the Constantijn Huygensprijs, and in 1989 he refused the P.C. Hooftprijs.

From 1980 until his death, Wolkers resided on the Dutch island of Texel. He died on 19 October 2007, aged 81, at his Texel home and was cremated in Amsterdam at De Nieuwe Ooster cemetery.

A number of his outdoor sculptures in the Netherlands have been subject to vandalism, presumably due to his use of glass as a construction material. Some examples are the Auschwitz monument in Amsterdam and the monument on the dike at Ceres on Texel. In reaction to the destruction of the monument in 2003, Wolkers announced that he would use less glass and more steel for such monuments in future. The Jac. P. Thijsse monument on Texel does contain more steel, but glass is still a substantial part of the artwork.