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Louise O. Fresco

Louise Fresco - foto Jeroen Oerlemans
Louise Fresco - foto Jeroen Oerlemans

(Meppel, NL, 1952) is a writer, agricultural scientist and columnist. In her novels De Kosmopolieten (The Cosmopolitans, 2003), De Tuin van de Sultan van Rome (The Roman Sultan's Garden, 2005) and De Utopisten (The Utopians, 2007) idealism, power, and friendship play important roles. Subsequently, she published Nieuwe Spijswetten (New Laws for Food, 2006), Hamburgers in het paradijs. Voedsel in tijden van schaarste en overvloed (Hamburgers in paradise. Food in times of shortage and abundance, 2012), Kruisbestuiving. Over kennis, kunst en het leven (Pollination. About knowledge, art and life, 2014) and various others works among which Verraad, Verleiding en Verzoening (Treason, Temptation and Reconciliation, 2010, with Helen Westerik). Fresco's Paradijs (Fresco's Paradise, 2013) is a six-part documentary TV-series broadcast by Human, published with an accompanying text. In 2014 she was appointed chair of the executive board at Wageningen University and Research. Her latest novel De Idealisten (The Idealists) will be published late January 2018.


Archive available for: Louise O. Fresco

  • Winternachten 2018

    VPRO's OVT Live

    With: David Van Reybrouck, Ernst Reijseger, Jos Palm, Karwan Fatah-Black, Louise O. Fresco, Maarten van der Graaff, Madelon de Keizer, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Rodaan Al Galidi, Wim Berkelaar

    Every Sunday morning, the topicality of history is the focus of one of the most popular radio programs in the Netherlands. Sunday morning 21 January 2018 OVT was broadcast, as usual, live from Winternachten festival in Theater aan het Spui.

    Writers from the Winternachten Festival, such as Louise O. Fresco and David Van Reybrouck, joined the live broadcast for interviews and discussion; famous musician Ernst Reijseger performed on cello. Further guests were Karwan Fatah Black, Madelon Keijzer, Nelleke Noorderliet and Wim Berkelaar. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag en Jos Palm. Program in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2018 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Liberté! The Revolutionary meaning of Freedom

    The Congolese novelist and essayist Alain Mabanckou opened Friday Night Unlimited with a lecture about the values of the French Revolution and their meaning in our time.

    Afterwards, writer and essayist Stephan Sanders had conversations with Alain Mabanckou, with historian and political philosopher Luuk van Middelaar and writer Louise O. Fresco about the contemporary meaning of freedom as a driving force of European democracy.

    What is the meaning of the French Revolution's motto in today's Europe? For the revolutionaries, freedom stood for much more than individual aims. it stood for the collective longing for self-determination and for the democratic consideration and manifestation of change and progress. Is anything left of the revolutionary meaning of freedom in contemporary Europe?

    Alternating with the conversations there was live drawing by visual artist en book illustrator Gerda Dendooven (Belgium) and music by classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko (Netherlands), cello player Jole De Baerdemaeker and soprano Elisabeth Sturtewagen (both Belgium).

  • Winternachten 2017

    NRC Live Reading Club: Louise O. Fresco

    With: Louise O. Fresco, Michel Krielaars

    Director, scientist, writer and columnist Louise O. Fresco discusses Maria Dermoût's De tienduizend dingen (Ten Thousand Things) with the public, introduced by NRC Handelsblad newspaper's books editor Michel Krielaars. Fresco tells us why it is relevant and worthwhile to (re)read this Indonesian novel from 1955. She invites you to read the novel, and then join the dicussion on this afternoon.

    The novel is a classic that inspires readers around the world to this day. When it appeared in the US in 1958, it pushed Doctor Zhivago and Breakfast at Tiffany's off the bestseller lists. It has been continually reprinted in the Netherlands.

    The novel is set on a Moluccan island in the last stages of Dutch colonization. In it, Mrs. Felicia van Kleyntjes lives alone with her servants on a remote plantation by a bay while remembering the dead and the living.

    The title of the novel is taken from a line from 7th-century Chinese poet Ts'ên Shên: "When the 'ten-thousand things' have been seen as one, we will return to the beginning and remain where we always were." According to Moluccan tradition, upon a person's death, the one hundred things by which he or she will be remembered are sung about: from the smallest things, such as the seashells at the bach, to the people that surrounded him or her. At the end of the book, Felicia sees her own "one hundred things" pass before her eyes.

    Dermoût (Pekalongan, 1888 - Noordwijk aan Zee, 1962) was born on Java in the then-Dutch Indies, went to school in the Netherlands, and travelled between both countries her whole life. Her Indonesian years inspired her various stories and novels, such as De tienduizend dingen, a masterpiece that became an international hit. In Dutch

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    The Text of My Life: Louise O. Fresco

    In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Wim Brands and Fidan Ekiz. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    At the Home Front

    Is there still such a thing as "home" when you return after a war? How do you rebuild a life? How do you reconstitute a civilization? Ian Buruma wrote Year Zero: A History of 1945, about the immediate aftermath of WWII. Stefan Hertman's War and Turpentine describes World War I through the eyes of his grandfather. Both authors choose a notably personal approach; Buruma, too, used the experiences of a family member—his father—as motivation to delve into world history. How does it affect a story when the source is so close to home? Is it possible to reflect reality on the basis of a detail? David Van Reybrouck poses these questions to the authors. Louise O. Fresco starts off the programme with a commentary.

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Between fear and hope. Part 1: science

    A test tube? A revealing line of poetry? Moving music? In a programme lasting all evening in the main hall of the theatre, prominent figures from the world of art, culture and science talk to Michaël Zeeman about the question: what do they see as the imagination of hope? The guests each bring an image they derive hope from and illustrate their choice. A tryptich with six modern words, images and sounds of hope – which one will convince you?

    Part 1 science: for a long time science was at the centre of of the faith in progress. But can it still fulfil its glorious role? Louise O. Fresco, writer (of among other books The Utopists) and brightest person in in ther Netherlands, opens the programme with a column. Together with Ronald Plasterk, natural scientist and Dutch Minister of Education, she will try to answer the question as to what extent science can still be a source of optimism. In Dutch.