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The Alpha Cycle: Volumes 1-2, Book Alpha and Orchis Militaris
Series No.: 185
ISBN: 978-1-933382-15-9, Pages: 241
Belgian Literature, Fiction
Winner of the America Award for Literature
R. Ceuppens was born in 1923 near Antwerp. Under the pseudonym of Ivo Michiels, he rose during the postwar years as one of the most talented of a group of Flemish writers, Dutch language authors writing in Belgium, including Louis Paul Boom and Hugo Claus. Michiels began as a filmmaker before turning to fiction with Het afscheid (The Leavetaking) in 1957 and, the following year, with the beginning of his Journal brut. But it was only in his 1963 fiction Het boek alfa (Book Alpha) that he came to great attention. Along with the second of what came to be called "The Alpha Cycle," Orchis Militaris (1968), Michiels gained an international reputation that compared him with his fellow countryman Claus as well as Samuel Beckett. The other books of the cycle, forthcoming from Green Integer, are Exit, Samuel, o Samuel, and Dixi(t).
This group of five books continues to influence several younger generations of Flemish writers, and has stood up as major innovative writing over the years since, in effect introducing postmodern fiction into Flemish literature. His books have been translated into several languages.
Michiels continues to write today, publishing De mirakelen, Elisabeth, de mirakelen (The Miracles, Elisabeth, the Miracles) in 2001.