Chloe Aridjis


De Engels-Mexicaanse schrijfster Chloe Aridjis werd geboren in New York op 14 november 1971. Zij groeide op in Mexico City en Nederland, waar haar vader werkzaam was als ambassadeur van Mexico. Aridjis studeerde vergelijkende literatuurwetenschap aan Harvard en promoveerde aan de Universiteit van Oxford. Haar boek essays over magie en poëzie in negentiendeeeuws Frankrijk werd uitgebracht in 2005. Ze publiceerde in tijdschriften en kranten in Engeland en Mexico en woont na vijf jaarin Berlijn momenteel in Londen, waar ze werkt aan een roman en een verhalenbundel. Haar eerste roman “Book of Clouds”werd gepubliceerd in 2009. In november 2009 won haar Book of Clouds de Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in Frankrijk.


Uit: Book of Clouds


„I saw Hitler at a time when the Reichstag was little more than a burnt, skeletal silhouette of its former self and the Brandenburg Gate obstructed passage rather than granted it. It was an evening when the moral remains of the city bobbed up to the surface and floated like driftwood before sinking back down to the seabed to further splinter and rot.

Berlin was the last stop on our European tour — we’d worked our way up from Spain, through France, Belgium and the Netherlands — and soon we would be flying home, back across the Atlantic, to start the new school year. My two brothers, still thrumming with energy, lamented that we had to leave. In every town and city they’d wandered off into the night and not returned until breakfast, answering in cranky monosyllables, between sips of coffee, whenever anyone commented on the amount of money being wasted on hotel rooms. My two sisters, on the other hand, weighed down by stories and souvenirs, were desperate to unload, and my parents too felt weary and ready for home. Not to mention that we’d used up 60 percent of the money we’d just inherited from my grandfather, and the remaining 40 had allegedly been set aside for our ever-expanding deli.

On our final evening, after an early dinner, our parents announced they were taking us to a demonstration against the Berlin Wall to protest twenty-five years of this “icon of the Cold War.” Wherever you went in Berlin, sooner or later you would run into it, even on the day we visited Hansa Studios where Nick Cave and Depeche Mode used to record, or the secondhand shop that sold clothes by the kilo. No matter where you went — east, west, north, south — before long you hit against the intractable curtain of cement and were able to go no further. That was our impression, anyway, so we figured that we too might as well protest against this seemingly endless structure that limited even our movement, though we were just seven tourists visiting the city for the first time.“



Chloe Aridjis (New York, 14 november 1971)