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Portraits: Anne Provoost
Martin Amis Margaret Atwood Mary Gordon Colin McGinn David Grossman Anne Provoost
Martin Amis Margaret Atwood Mary Gordon Colin McGinn David Grossman Anne Provoost
Richard Rodriguez Salman Rushdie Will Power Pema Chödrön Sir John Houghton Jeanette Winterson
Richard Rodriguez Salman Rushdie Will Power Pema Chödrön Sir John Houghton Jeanette Winterson

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Every year Anne Provoost takes one of Han Christian Andersen's lesser-known tales to analyze. In 2006 she chose "The Story of a Mother." Read Anne Provoost's letter to Hans Christian Andersen. Plus, watch the full interview.

"Whenever you have a proclamation of being chosen, it's always a self-defining process. It's always the people who are chosen who say they are chosen. They never say that about the other. If you're going to say, "I'm chosen," it loads you with a very heavy burden."
-- Anne Provoost

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Belgian writer Anne Provoost is the author of a series of provocative novels that examine topics as varied as right-wing extremism, sexual abuse, and God through the eyes of young protagonists.

Her debut novel, MY AUNT IS A PILOT WHALE, published in 1991, was the first book on sexual abuse of children written for a young audience in the Low Countries. The novel, which tells the story of a young girl's sexual abuse at the hands of her father and her eventual rescue by a sympathetic cousin and a well-meaning adult, was awarded both the Belgian Book Lion Prize and the Interprovincial Prize for Children's and Youth Literature.

Her second novel, FALLING (1994), which deals with the allure, and the pitfalls, of fascist and neo-Nazi rhetoric for young people, received five major awards in Belgium and the Netherlands and was made into an English-language feature film starring Jill Clayburgh and Alice Krige in 2001. The novel was also selected for the honor list of Canada's International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

In 1997, Provoost retold the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale in THE ROSE AND THE SWINE, transforming the familiar story into a young person's saga of guilt, penance, mercy, and justice. It received The Golden Kiss award for the best teenage novel in the Netherlands, the Belgian Book Lion Prize, and the Award of Young Readers in Austria.

Her most recent novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE ARK, is an updated account of the biblical story of Noah, told from the perspective of a teenage girl who was not chosen to survive the deluge.

Provoost is a member of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature and a member of PEN.

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  • From flood myths to fatal moments — matters under discussion in the interview

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  • Anneprovoost.com

  • Anne Provoost's letter to Hans Christian Andersen

  • Andersen's "The Story of a Mother"


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