Herman Koch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Herman Koch
Portrait of Herman Koch
Herman Koch in 2015
Born (1953-09-05) 5 September 1953 (age 64)
Arnhem, Netherlands
Pen name Menno Voorhof
Occupation Writer, actor
Language Dutch
Period 1984–present
Notable works The Dinner (2009)
Spouse Amalia
Children Pablo (1994)

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal

Herman Koch (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɛrmɑn kɔx]; born 5 September 1953) is a Dutch writer and actor. He has written short stories, novels, and columns. His best-selling novel The Dinner (2009) has been translated into 21 languages. He has acted for radio, television, and film. He co-created the long-running TV series Jiskefet (1990–2005).

Early life and education[edit]

Herman Koch was born on 5 September 1953 in Arnhem, Netherlands. His family moved to Amsterdam when he was two years old.[1] He went to the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam from which he was expelled.[2]


Koch is an actor for radio, television, and film. He contributed to the comedy show Borát (1984–1989) for radio.[2] Together with Kees Prins and Michiel Romeyn, Koch created the long-running absurdist and satiric series Jiskefet (1990–2005; Trash Can) for television, in which he also acted.[1][2] And he played minor roles in the movies The Flying Liftboy (1998) and Hè, Gezellig (2014; Hey, Cosy), and the TV series The Flying Liftboy (2000) and Voetbalvrouwen (2007; Footballers' Wives).[3]


Koch is the author of short stories, novels, and columns. His debut was De voorbijganger (1985; The Passerby) with short stories. His first novel was Red ons, Maria Montanelli (1989; Save Us, Maria Montanelli).[2] In 2005, Koch wrote the text for the Grand Dictation of the Dutch Language.[4]

His sixth novel was Het diner (2009; The Dinner), which was translated into 21 languages including English,[1][5] had sold over one million copies throughout Europe,[6] and won the 2009 NS Audience award (Dutch: NS Publieksprijs).[7] A Dutch play of The Dinner was in theaters in 2012[8] and a Dutch movie of the book was released in 2013.[9] An Italian movie adaptation, The Dinner (Italian: I Nostri Ragazzi), was released in 2014.[citation needed] An English-language film adaptation, The Dinner, was released in 2017.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Koch is married to Amalia, and they have a son.[12][13]


Short stories
  • (1985) De voorbijganger (The Passerby)
  • (1991) Hansaplast voor een opstandige (Hansaplast for a Rebel), under the pseudonym Menno Voorhof
  • (1998) Geen agenda (No Agenda)
  • (2001) Schrijven & drinken (Writing & Drinking)
  • (2001) Dingetje (Thingy)
  • (2003) Alle verhalen (All Stories)
  • (2012) Korte geschiedenis van het bedrog (Brief History of Deceit)
  • (1989) Red ons, Maria Montanelli (Save Us, Maria Montanelli)
  • (1996) Eindelijk oorlog (War at Last)
  • (2000) Eten met Emma (Eating With Emma)
  • (2003) Odessa Star (Odessa Star)
  • (2005) Denken aan Bruce Kennedy (Thinking About Bruce Kennedy)
  • (2009) Het diner; English translation: The Dinner (2012) ISBN 9780770437855
  • (2011) Zomerhuis met zwembad; English translation: Summer House with Swimming Pool (2014) ISBN 9780804138819
  • (2014) Geachte heer M. (Dear Mr. M.)
  • (2016) De Greppel (The Ditch)
  • (1999) Het evangelie volgens Jodocus (The Gospel According To Judoc)
  • (2010) De ideale schoonzoon (The Ideal Son-in-law)


  1. ^ a b c Radio Books – 'A Brief History of Deceit' by Herman Koch, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 2009. Retrieved on 14 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d (in Dutch) G.J. van Bork, Koch, Herman, Schrijvers en dichters, 2006. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.
  3. ^ Herman Koch, IMDb. Retrieved on 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Colofon, NTR. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  5. ^ Author: Herman Koch, Dutch Foundation for Literature. Retrieved on 2012-10-14.
  6. ^ Arifa Akbar, The Dinner, By Herman Koch, trans. Sam Garrett, The Independent, 2012. Retrieved on 18 October 2012.
  7. ^ (in Dutch) NS Publieksprijs naar Het Diner, NRC Handelsblad, 2009. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.
  8. ^ (in Dutch) Het diner, Hummelinck Stuurman Theaterbureau. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  9. ^ (in Dutch) Het Diner de Film Archived 29 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved on 22 January 2014.
  10. ^ Ben Child, "Cate Blanchett cooking up directorial debut with The Dinner", The Guardian, 2013. Retrieved on 4 February 2014.
  11. ^ http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/entertainment/movies/reviews/2017/05/17/beifuss-the-dinner-review/327459001/
  12. ^ (in Dutch) Herman Koch, Amalia, de Volkskrant, 2003. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  13. ^ (in Dutch) Herman Koch (interview), Interview: Herman Koch, Margriet, 2011. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.

External links[edit]