Renate Dorrestein biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Renate Dorrestein

Renate Dorrestein

Renate Dorrestein Biography

Renate Dorrestein was born in Amsterdam on January 25, 1954, and raised in a Roman Catholic family. Her father was a lawyer, her mother a teacher and housewife. Renate began to write when she was in elementary school. Upon graduating in 1972 she opted not to go to college, going to work instead as a reporter for the Dutch news magazine Panorama, and worked for a number of other national publications.

Dorrestein had always wanted to write fiction. After years of trying, Outsiders was published in 1983. The book became a bestseller and established Dorrestein as a writer to watch in The Netherlands.

The novel A Heart of Stone attracted great interest internationally; the book’s translation rights were sold in a dozen countries. Her other books continue to be sold abroad in great numbers as well.

Dorestein spent the year 1986-1987 as Writer in Residence at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (USA) and has since been giving master classes at European and American universities. In 2000, she wrote the non-fiction book The Secret of the Writer based on this experience.

Dorrestein’s work has been lauded at home and abroad. Unnatural Mothers and A Heart of Stone were both nominated for The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and A Heart of Stone won the Vondel Prize for Translation. Her entire oeuvre was awarded the Annie Romein Prize in 1993 for its “irresistible idiosyncracy”.

Renate Dorrestein's website

This bio was last updated on 11/11/2014. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Renate Dorrestein discusses how she conceived the story of A Heart of Stone (her first book translated into English from the original Dutch), how she managed to balance allusions to 1960s American culture with references to classical Greek and Roman literature, and much else.

This is your first novel to be published by a mainstream American press. Why do you think it is A Heart of Stone that has launched your debut in this country? Is it representative of your work? Are there plans to translate your earlier books into English?
Maybe the appeal of A Heart of Stone is the fact that it deals with a very ancient and profound fear that we all subconsciously know of: the fear of being annihilated by our own mother. Most of my work somehow touches on "collective fears," so in that respect this book is indeed representative of my writing. It is also representative in that part of the narration is told by a young girl. I love children's voices in literature and their views on the world as well. There are children in most of my novels. They were there in the earlier books and undoubtedly they'll be there in work yet to come. So there is no burning necessity to translate earlier work, though my most recent novel, Without Mercy, is being translated now and I'm very excited that it will be published in the United States.

Could you discuss the germination of A Heart of Stone? How did you conceive of the story? What compelled you to write it?
In 1997 Holland was shocked by a wave of ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Renate Dorrestein at BookBrowse
A Heart of Stone jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Renate Dorrestein but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Carol Goodman

    Carol Goodman

    I started writing at age nine, when my teacher introduced the topic 'Creative Writing' and I wrote a ninety-page, crayon-illustrated collection entitled The Adventures of the Magical Herd in which a girl named Carol lives ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Heart of Stone

    Try:
    The Lake of Dead Languages
    by Carol Goodman

  • Jill McGown

    Jill McGown

    A native of Argyll, Scotland, Jill McGown has lived in Corby, England, since she was ten. She wrote her first novel, A Perfect Match, in 1983. Among those that have followed are Gone to Her Death, Murder at the Old Vicarage... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    A Heart of Stone

    Try:
    Unlucky For Some
    by Jill McGown

We recommend 3 similar authors

View all 3 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Memorial Drive
    Memorial Drive
    by Natasha Trethewey
    On June 5, 1985, Natasha Trethewey's mother, Gwendolyn Turnbough, was murdered by her ex-husband, ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Devils Are Here
    All the Devils Are Here
    by Louise Penny
    In Louise Penny's All the Devils Are Here, the 16th book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: A Girl is A Body of Water
    A Girl is A Body of Water
    by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
    First Impressions readers were fascinated by A Girl Is a Body of Water, a riveting and nuanced novel...
  • Book Jacket
    Heaven, My Home
    by Attica Locke
    Attica Locke's 2017 novel Bluebird, Bluebird introduced us to Texas Ranger Darren Mathews, who ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke

    A new novel from the NY Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Shadow King
by Maaza Mengiste

An unforgettable epic shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and named a best book of the year by the New York Times.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Memorial Drive

Memorial Drive
by Natasha Trethewey

The moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of tragedy.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

L N Take I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.