PIC | Peter Daerden

A writer in our midst, KCB | Peter Daerden

A writer in our midst | Peter Daerden

Peter Daerden, study track counsellor and quality coordinator at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, has recently written two books. In August 2023, his first book Revolutie in Rio was published, a biography of the forgotten Belgian adventurer, revolutionary and cult writer Conrad Detrez (1937-1985). The book was enthusiastically received in the Flemish and Dutch press.

A second book of his was recently published, called De laatste Buendía, about his travels in Colombia in search of Gabriel García

Published books

9789022340929 | 12 March 2024 | 182 pages

A vibrant journey through the land and universe of a world-renowned writer.

Colombia: exotic, mythical, wildly attractive, and wonderfully unexplored. Peter Daerden traveled thousands of kilometers through the country, collecting stories as improbable as they are irresistible. "The Last Buendía" doesn't resort to cheap clichés but delves into tales of a Belgian palace builder in Medellín, decadent banana crazes on the coast, the enigmatic travels of Leopold III and Prince Bernhard, shoe shiners quoting Proust, and William Burroughs' midlife crisis in Bogotá.

Simultaneously, this book sheds light on an unknown and colorful facet of Belgium's migration history: how the Colombian elite, between the two World Wars, fell under the spell of Brussels' allure. It's a fascinating history that Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez incorporated into "One Hundred Years of Solitude."

9789022340301 | 29 August 2023 | 408 pages

Conrad Detrez (1937-1985): butcher's son, missionary, journalist, Flemish, Walloon, naturalized Frenchman, revolutionary, diplomat, and writer. Conrad Detrez led a life that could fill ten books. In 1962, he closed the door of the Leuven seminary behind him and set off for Brazil. There, he discovered hedonism and threw himself passionately into the fight against dictatorship. In Paris, he published a banned manual for urban guerrilla warfare. Later, he would seek refuge in Algeria, Portugal, and Nicaragua. His peak came in 1978 when he won the Prix Renaudot, one of France's most prestigious literary prizes. Not bad for a Limburg boy from Rukkelingen-aan-de-Jeker.

"Revolution in Rio" is a whirlwind journey through a vanished world, rescuing a controversial writer and adventurer, spat out by his own country, from oblivion. Detrez's books, including the award-winning "L’Herbe à brûler" (Dor gras), achieved cult status and were translated into English by Lydia Davis.

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