Writer Hans Koning–author of thirteen novels, ten non-fiction books, three plays, two translations, and a childrené─˘s book–died on April 13 at home in Easton, Connecticut. Born in Amsterdam, he came to the United States in 1951, and published his first novel, The Affair, in 1958.
In 2001, we published his thirteenth novel, Zeeland or Elective Concurrences. Shortly thereafter, we began the Hans Koning reprint series with the idea of bringing all of Koning’s works back into print. Beginning in 2002, NewSouth released Koning’s The Affair, An American Romance, The Petersburg-Cannes Express, A Walk with Love and Death, and I Know What I’m Doing; the latest, The Kleber Flight, originally published in 1981, was released by NewSouth in fall 2006.
Koning was among the first authors signed by NewSouth Books. A lively and lasting friendship developed based on mutual respect for the causes we cared about and our commitment to taking chances in the twin worlds of politics and publishing. To our way of thinking, Koning was quintessentially engage. He eschewed mere dinner-table rhetoric about the issues of the day in favor of personal activism that included his resistance work in WWII, anti-Vietnam War activities, and the hosting of a radio program called “Literary Discord.” His convictions about human rights animated his life and his stories, often obscuring the elegance of his pen and the luminous prose moments he delivered in which our human and sexual connectedness are described. His perspective on the place where politics and history and personal choice intersect was unique and affecting. Curious, articulate, and writing to the end, NewSouth is profoundly honored to represent him.