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Leon de Winter

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Leon de Winter
de Winter in 2013
de Winter in 2013
Born26 February 1954 (1954-02-26) (age 70)
Den Bosch, Netherlands
Notable worksZoeken naar Eileen W.
(trns: Looking for Eileen W.)

Leon de Winter (born 24 February 1954) is a Dutch writer and columnist.

Early life[edit]

Leon de Winter was born on 24 February 1954 in Den Bosch, in the southern Netherlands. He grew up in a Jewish Orthodox family and attended City Grammar School in Den Bosch. After his graduation he attended the film academy in Munich and the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam. However, the Film Academy was much criticised by De Winter and he left the Film Academy in 1978 without a degree.

Writing career[edit]

After leaving the Film Academy, De Winter made some television series, like Junkieverdriet and De (ver)wording van de jonge Dürer. The latter, which was also rewritten into a novel, is the story of an unemployed young boy who does not know how to handle life, and who goes slowly but inevitably insane.

Until 1982 De Winter also wrote reviews for the weekly magazine Vrij Nederland.

His first successful novel was Zoeken naar Eileen W. (1981). A film version of this was made by Rudolf van den Berg. In 1981 De Winter also wrote Place de la Bastille.

In 1986 the novel Kaplan was published. The protagonist of this novel is a writer who is searching for the truth about birth, love and death.

In 1990 the novel Hoffman's honger was published. Hoffman's honger is a literary thriller set in Prague.

Hoffman's honger was followed in 1991 by the novel Supertex. In 1992 the novel De ruimte van Sokolov was published. Just like Hoffman's honger, De ruimte van Sokolov is a literary thriller, this time set in Israel.

In 1995 De Winter wrote Zionoco, the story of a rabbi, who has lost his faith, and is searching for his Jewish roots. In the same year, his book Serenade was published as the "Boekenweekgeschenk".

De Winter's latest novels are De hemel van Hollywood, which was published in 1997, God's Gym, which was published in 2002, and Het recht op terugkeer, published in 2008.

Most of these works feature protagonists searching—in particular, for a Jewish identity. These attempts to bring order out of chaos are a result of discontent with seemingly empty and aimless lives.

De Winter became more involved in political writings in newspapers and magazines, and appearances on television, possibly the most recognizable of these being his many articles in support of Israel and his support for an "Islamic Enlightenment".

On 26 December 2007, de Winter announced a stop to his political writings on blogs and magazines and that he was considering a one-year sabbatical with his family to California.[1] One year turned into three years and he moved back to the Netherlands and he started writing for Dutch and German newspapers again.

However, he continued publishing opinion articles in newspapers in the Netherlands, such as on the racism trial against Geert Wilders,[2] criticisms of Barack Obama,[3][4] the European Union, the Euro currency and financial aid for members of the Euro area.[5] Since early 2020 de Winter supports Black Lives Matter

Personal life[edit]

De Winter is married to Jessica Durlacher, who is also a writer. They have two children, Moos and Moon (Solomonica), and are currently living in Bloemendaal and Los Angeles.

His cousin is Harry de Winter [nl].

Film directing[edit]

He directed three films, De Verwording van Herman Dürer, De grens, between 1979 and 1993. The film De grens was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.[6]

Film adaptations[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Elsevier: "Lieve mensen, ik ben uitgeput, ik stop ermee" Archived 16 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Winter, Leon de (27 January 2010). "Stop the Trial of Geert Wilders". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  3. ^ Mann ohne Eigenschaften, Cicero (in German) Archived 20 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Time for a new ally?". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  5. ^ SPIEGEL, Leon de Winter, DER. "Essay: Zurück zur EWG". www.spiegel.de (in German). Retrieved 6 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: De grens". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Leon de Winter erhält WELT-Literaturpreis". Buch Markt (in German). 8 November 2002. Retrieved 11 November 2012.

External links[edit]