Dutch author Harry Mulisch dies: reports

31st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dutch author Harry Mulisch, whose work spawned an Oscar-winning film, has died of cancer aged 83, news agency ANP reported Sunday.

Mulisch, 83, who had been ill for some time, died of cancer at his home in Amsterdam on Saturday, ANP said, quoting his publisher, De Bezige Bij.

His books included "The Assault" which inspired a film of the same name that won the 1986 Oscar for best foreign picture, and the "The Discovery of Heaven."

Mulisch, well known for his habit of referring to himself as the best writer of all time, penned more than 70 novels, essays, poems and plays, all inspired by World War II.

He won many accolades and was talked of as a possible Nobel laureate.

Dutch Deputy Culture Minister Halbe Zijlstra said Mulisch's death was a "great loss for Dutch literature.

"He was a great writer with an imposing and varied body of work who was also celebrated abroad," she told ANP.

Fellow writer Cees Nooteboom told Dutch broadcaster NOS that Mulisch was "a unique literary personality.

"He always said -- 'I am the Second World War.' The fact that he had a Jewish mother and an Austrian-German father had a huge impact on him. It was always about the war, the war and the war."

© 2010 AFP

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