Simon van der Geest, Netherlands

Simon van der Geest was born in Gouda, in the south of Holland, in 1978. He studied theatre pedagogy at the ArtEZ University of Arts in Arnheim and took part in the programme for playwrights at the Utrecht School of the Arts. He writes plays and stories for children and holds theatre classes for young adults. Since his debut with “The summer I became famous” in 2011 he has proven himself as a great as multifaceted storyteller. For his young adult novel “Grasshopper” he was awarded the Gouden Griffel and the Jan Wolkers Prize for best Dutch book about nature in 2013. In 2017 he was nominated for the German Youth Literature Prize. His most recent children’s book is titled “The paper, or how I disappeared into the jungle”.

Simon van der Geest’s background as theatre pedagogue is quite evident in his books. He is a master in dramatic climaxes and building suspense, thus testing the boundaries of children’s and youth literature, both in its form and subject matter. Predominant themes of his works are family secrets, brother rivalry, the search for affection and a secure place in the world.

The events with Simon van der Geest are moderated by Barbara Lehnerer, a translator and writer.

To “Grasshopper" and “The paper, or how I disappeared into the jungle” from Simon van der Geest

© Photo: Chris van Houts