Herman Koch

Herman Koch

Portrait of Herman Koch

Herman Koch in 2015
Born Herman Koch
(1953-09-05) 5 September 1953
Arnhem, Netherlands
Pen name Menno Voorhof
Occupation Writer, actor
Language Dutch
Period 1984–present
Notable works The Dinner (2009)
Spouse Amalia Rodriguez
Children Pablo (1994)

Literature portal

Herman Koch (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɛrmɑn kɔx]; born 5 September 1953) is a Dutch writer and actor. He has written short stories, novels, and columns. His best-selling novel The Dinner (2009) has been translated into 21 languages. He has acted for radio, television, and film. He co-created the long-running TV series Jiskefet (1990–2005).

Early life and education

Herman Koch was born on 5 September 1953 in Arnhem, Netherlands. His family moved to Amsterdam when he was two years old.[1] He went to the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam from which he was expelled.[2]

Koch's native language is Dutch. He also speaks English,[3] German,[4] and Spanish.[5]


Koch is an actor for radio, television, and film. He contributed to the comedy show Borát (1984–1989) for radio.[2] Together with Kees Prins and Michiel Romeyn, Koch created the long-running absurdist and satiric series Jiskefet (1990–2005; Trash Can) for television, in which he also acted.[1][2] And he played minor roles in the movies The Flying Liftboy (1998) and Hè, Gezellig (2014; Hey, Cosy), and the TV series The Flying Liftboy (2000) and Voetbalvrouwen (2007; Footballers' Wives).[6]


Koch is the author of short stories, novels, and columns. His debut was De voorbijganger (1985; The Passerby) with short stories. His first novel was Red ons, Maria Montanelli (1989; Save Us, Maria Montanelli).[2] In 2005, Koch wrote the text for the Grand Dictation of the Dutch Language.[7]

His sixth novel was Het diner (2009; The Dinner), which was translated into 21 languages including English,[1][8] had sold over one million copies throughout Europe,[9] and won the 2009 NS Audience award (Dutch: NS Publieksprijs).[10] A Dutch play of The Dinner was in theaters in 2012[11] and a Dutch movie of the book was released in 2013.[12] An English language film adaptation to be directed by Cate Blanchett was announced in 2013.[13]

Personal life

Koch is married to Amalia Rodriguez, and they have a son Pablo (1994).[14][15]


Short stories


  1. 1 2 3 Radio Books – 'A Brief History of Deceit' by Herman Koch, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 2009. Retrieved on 14 October 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 (Dutch) G.J. van Bork, Koch, Herman, Schrijvers en dichters, 2006. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.
  3. Video on YouTube
  4. Video on YouTube
  5. Video on YouTube
  6. Herman Koch, IMDb. Retrieved on 17 October 2014.
  7. (Dutch) Colofon, NTR. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  8. Author: Herman Koch, Dutch Foundation for Literature. Retrieved on 2012-10-14.
  9. Arifa Akbar, The Dinner, By Herman Koch, trans. Sam Garrett, The Independent, 2012. Retrieved on 18 October 2012.
  10. (Dutch) NS Publieksprijs naar Het Diner, NRC Handelsblad, 2009. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.
  11. (Dutch) Het diner, Hummelinck Stuurman Theaterbureau. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  12. (Dutch) Het Diner de Film. Retrieved on 22 January 2014.
  13. Ben Child, "Cate Blanchett cooking up directorial debut with The Dinner", The Guardian, 2013. Retrieved on 4 February 2014.
  14. (Dutch) Herman Koch, Amalia, de Volkskrant, 2003. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  15. (Dutch) Herman Koch (interview), Interview: Herman Koch, Margriet, 2011. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
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