Jan Brokken

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Jan Brokken is a well-known journalist who made his debut as a writer in 1984 with the largely autobiographical novel De provincie (The Province), the story of a youth spent in the countryside, which was made into a successful film. He has published gripping travel books about, among others, Africa, Indonesia and Curaçao, and is the author of the acclaimed and bestselling novels De blinde passagiers (The Blind Passengers, 1996), Jungle Rudy (2006) and Baltic Souls (2010) in which Brokken connects the cultural richness and social diversity of the region over the past eight centuries with tales of personal tragedy and a first-hand account of his travels.


A Swedish Frisian in Milan

The Basque waiter prefers not to understand ‘vino tinto’, nor does he understand ‘vin rouge’. Instead he gives me a bottle of rosé. It’s a moment when my ideal Europe is very far away….

Read Jan Brokken's 1st column here (PDF)



The comets we do not see

We discover what is truly ground-breaking only later on. The brightest comets pass us by. During all those evenings we spend sitting in theatres or concert halls we miss the essence.


 Read Jan Brokken's 2nd column here (PDF).

Also read Jan Brokken's exchange with Abdelkader Benali in our DUO section.