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Lost Paradise: Cees Nooteboom in conversation with Paul Holdengräber

November 19, 2007

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In Lost Paradise: A Novel, eminent Dutch novelist Cees Nooteboom weaves an imaginative tale of two unrelated travelers a beautiful stranger aboard a Berlin-bound flight and a haggard-looking man on a Holland train platform whose intersecting paths illuminate the ways in which the divine touches our lives. With his fleeting impressions of these encounters, Nooteboom builds a complex, haunting story of longing, regret, and rebirth in the dawn of the new millennium.

Nooteboom writes about the ecstasy, and ultimately the frustration of grasping onto something doomed to disappear or the unwillingness to resign oneself to an inescapable farewell. The simple conclusion to a complicated love story is that angels don't belong with humans. Lost Paradise is a novel as light and ungraspable as a poem, yet seems to be about everything in life, including the fall from grace and cosmically thwarted love while affirming our underlying humanity in an increasingly fragmented age.

photo of Cees Nooteboom by Koppe

About Cees Nooteboom

Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom debuted in 1955 with the novel Philip and the Others and has since written novels, poetry, short stories and travelogues. His work has earned him numerous awards, among which the Bordewijk Prize, the Pegasus Prize for Rituals and the Aristeion European Prize for Literature for The Following Story. The latter was translated into over twenty languages and signaled his international breakthrough. In 2004 he was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize for his entire oeuvre. Among his other books are the travelogues Berlin Notes, Roads to Santiago, and the novels All Souls? Day and his latest book, Lost Paradise: A Novel.


About Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is the Director of Public Programs now known as "LIVE from the NYPL" for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.