In conversation with Arnon Grunberg
With numerous praised novels, plays, film scripts, essays and columns, Arnon Grunberg is one of the most known and successful Dutch writers, on a national as well as international scale. However having been brought up in a traditional Jewish household, Grunberg distances himself from religion during his puberty. His sister, on the other hand, leaves The Netherlands when Arnon is eleven years old and moves to Israel in order to live an orthodox life in a settlement. In his works, Grunberg often writes about occupied territories, war, terrorism and militaries. Shame and insecurity are themes that are also often present in his works.
Grunberg’s most recent novels are ‘Death in Taormina’ and ‘Occupied Territories’. His work has been translated in 29 languages and has been awarded the Anton Wachter-prize, the Libris Literatuur Prijs and the Gouden Ganzenveer, amongst others. As a journalist, Grunberg made embedded-reports in a slaughterhouse; amidst the Dutch and German armies in Afghanistan and the American army in Iraq; as a maid in a Bavarian hotel; as a masseur in Romania; and as a circus artist in Amsterdam. The most recent reports were bundled in ‘Slachters en psychiaters’. Grunberg will soon receive the most prominent literary prize there is in The Netherlands: the P.C.Hooft-prijs 2022. During Roee Rosen’s Background Evening at 1646, Rosen and Grunberg went into conversation to reflect on Rosen’s newest film, Franz Kafka’s body of work, and the subjects that both creatives touch upon through their works.