Saskia De Coster

"The most original author in Flanders for many years," Tom Lanoye stated about fellow author Saskia de Coster (1976), who wrote Eeuwige Roem (Eternal Glory), Wij en ik (Us and me) and the widely acclaimed Nachtouders, among others. If you don't find her at her writing table, chances are she is hatching a new project with visual artists. Encounters she has sought out and cherished throughout her career and perhaps life.

  • Writer who likes to explore the boundaries of literature
  • Sees similarities between Rubens and ... Dua Lipa
  • Seeks collaboration with visual art(ists)
  • Completes her ninth novel in public seclusion at the KMSKA


Rubens over my bed

"As a child, I discovered the works of Rubens in an art book. I fanatically tried to draw my own little Rubenses. A while later, during my first visit to the KMSKA, I was completely overwhelmed by those fleshy bodies, by that excess. Most of all, I wanted to take a Rubens home with me. It was wonderful to finally see those works of art with my own eyes. An encounter like that is a bit like a performance by, say, Dua Lipa. You may like the album, but in the end you want to see her in person."


“Drawing or writing? As a child, I made no distinction. I was always doing both. In the Japanese language I saw word and image coincide. For example, the Japanese word for home is also really an image of a house. Isn't that beautiful? I eventually did choose the word, but also continue to look for encounters with the visual arts."

Chicken and tower

"I have continued to make art until I was eighteen. I occasionally participated in exhibitions, and once, for a performance, I even had myself locked up in the tower of the Leuven city park. In the company of ... a chicken. A nice precursor to the art project The Author is Present that I set up with Inge Jooris for the KMSKA. Although this time, I'm going into seclusion in front of the audience. This way the dream of a Rubens in my bedroom will come true after all (laughs). And art and words will coincide again."


"I would love to go on a date with artist Alice Neel and writers Rachel Cusk and Virginia Woolf. Three strong-willed, fascinating women. Who are not inclined to compromise. This is also the reason why it's best they don't join until dessert. Would their meeting lead to a quarrel or just total connection? It’s a toss-up. What would I order for them? A heavy custard for Woolf, something complex with passion fruit for Cusk and a hearty piece of chocolate cake for Neel. I myself, as a unifying factor, would have all three. It's not that I have such a sweet tooth, it's because I just want to listen to the conversation starting up between my guests."