Google doodle honors award winning Belgian writer and psychoanalyst ‘Jacqueline Harpman’

Google doodle honors award winning Belgian writer and psychoanalyst ‘Jacqueline Harpman’

Harpman was born on this day in 1929 in Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium. She spent part of her childhood in Casablanca, Morocco, until her family returned to Belgium in 1945. As a student, Harpman studied French literature and dreamed of becoming a doctor. However, she had to abandon her medical studies after contracting tuberculosis.

Around 1954, Harpman decided to pursue a career as a writer. After four years of writing, she published her debut novel, L`Amour et Acacia (Love and Acacia). In 1959, her second novel, Brève Arcadie, won Belgium’s prestigious literary prize, the Prix Rossel.

Whether writing about trapped characters or surreal body-swap scenarios, Harpman used her work to explore human nature. She later became a psychoanalyst, and her interest in the subconscious has informed her entire literary career. In 1966, she took a twenty-year sabbatical to concentrate on psychology. She wrote eight books in the 1990s, including her 1996 novel Orlanda, which won the Medicis Prize, an annual French award given to an underrated writer.

She continued to write into her old age, winning a new generation of fans when her last book, Moi qui n’ai pas connu les menes (I Don’t Know Men), became an internet sensation. In 2019, the city of Brussels named a street after her in honour of her contribution to Belgian culture. Harpman leaves a legacy that inspires current and future writers to explore the depths of humanity in their writing.

Happy Birthday, Jacqueline Harpman!

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