Hans Koning

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Hans Koning
File:Hans Koning Bio.jpg
Hans Koning
Born (1921-07-12)July 12, 1921
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died April 13, 2007(2007-04-13) (aged 85)
Occupation Writer and journalist

Hans Koning (born Hans Koningsberger) (July 12, 1921 – April 13, 2007), author of over 40 fiction and non-fiction books, was also a prolific journalist, contributing for almost 60 years to many periodicals including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Harper's, The New Yorker, and De Groene Amsterdammer.


Born in Amsterdam in 1921 to Elisabeth van Collem (daughter of socialist poet Abraham Eliazer van Collem) and David Königsberger, he was educated at the University of Amsterdam 1939-41, the University of Zurich 1941-43, and the Sorbonne in 1946.

Escaping the occupied Netherlands with the Resistance (he was a wearer of the Dutch Resistance Cross), he was one of the youngest sergeants in the British Army, 7 Troop, 4 Commando, working as an interpreter during the allied occupation of Germany at the end of the war.

As an editor of De Groene Amsterdammer, a Dutch weekly, 1947–50, he was invited to run a cultural program on Radio Jakarta, Indonesia which he did from 1950-51. It was after this that he came by freighter to the United States. His first novel, The Affair, was published in 1958. He also began writing non-fiction, including several travel books, including Love and Hate in China (1966).

During the Vietnam War he turned his attention to protest, helping to found the still-active ‘Resist’ organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Noam Chomsky among others.

For the next thirty years he wrote fiction and non-fiction and was a two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for creative writers, for fiction. Four of his novels were made into films: A Walk with Love and Death, which was Anjelica Huston’s first film, directed by her father, John Huston, The Revolutionary, starring Jon Voight, Death of a Schoolboy, for the BBC London, and The Petersburg-Cannes Express.

File:Hans Koning.jpg
Hans Koning at The Cannes International Film Festival

From 2000 to 2006 he also found time to run Literary Discord, a radio program broadcast by WPKN Bridgeport, dedicated to discussing such literature and the state of publishing in the United States. He interviewed, among many others, Russel Banks and Sadi Ranson about the state of publishing in the United States.


(until 1972 writing under the name Hans Koningsberger)

  • The Affair, Alfred Knopf 1958, NewSouth Books 2002
  • An American Romance, Simon and Schuster 1960, NewSouth Books 2002
  • A Walk with Love and Death, Simon and Schuster 1961, NewSouth Books 2003
  • I Know What I'm Doing, Simon and Schuster 1964, NewSouth Books 2005
  • The Revolutionary: a novel, Farrar Straus Giroux 1967
  • Death of a Schoolboy, Harcourt Brace 1974
  • The Petersburg-Cannes Express, Harcourt Brace 1975, NewSouth Books 2004
  • America Made Me: A Novel, Thunder's Mouth Press 1979
  • The Kleber Flight, Atheneum 1981, NewSouth Books 2006
  • De Witt's war, Pantheon 1983
  • Acts of Faith, Henry Holt 1986
  • Pursuit of a Woman on the Hinge of History: A Novel, Lumen Editions, 1997
  • Zeeland or Elective Concurrences, NewSouth Books 2001

Many of his novels have also been published in other countries including England, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan.


  • Love and Hate in China McGraw-Hill, 1966
  • Along the Roads of New Russia Farrar Straus Giroux 1967
  • World of Vermeer Time Life 1967
  • Amsterdam Time Life 1968. With photographs by Patrick Ward.
  • The Future of Che Guevara Doubleday 1971
  • The Almost World Dial Press 1972
  • A New Yorker in Egypt Harcourt Brace 1976
  • Nineteen Sixty-Eight: A Personal Report Norton 1987
  • Colon: el mito al descubierto. 1991
  • Columbus: His Enterprise: Exploding the Myth Monthly Review Press 1976, 1991
  • The Conquest of America: How the Indian Nations Lost Their Continent Monthly Review Press 1993
  • Hans Koning's Little Book of Comforts and Gripes 2000
  • Rene Burri Phaidon Press 2006



  • The Blood-Red Cafe
  • Hermione
  • A Woman of New York

Children's books



The International Herald Tribune

  • "Meanwhile: I must go down to the sea again..." - September 2003
  • "The Vanishing Mystery of a Sea Crossing" - January 2003
  • "What's In Your Phone? : It's 1996, Do You Know" - January 1996
  • "Major Landscape Change Is Possible Without Notice" - June 1995
  • "Out of Black Shoelaces and Doing Fine" - May 1995
  • "The Tugboat on the Lawn: A Tale of Man and Nature" - October 1994
  • "Why Can't We Go Again In Real Ships of the Sea?" - June 1994
  • "Between Valley and Sky, Halfway Up a Swiss Wall" - May 1993
  • "Crossing Borders, Opening Doors" - March 1993
  • "After a Movie, Still Waiting For the Twentieth Century" - September 1992
  • "Would They Even Miss the View?" - June 1992
  • "Provide Essential Services, Then Leave Us in Peace" - August 1991

The New York Times

  • "Amsterdam and the Sea Conspire to Build a Neighborhood" - October 2002
  • "Summoning the Mystery and Tragedy, but in a Subterranean Way" - July 2000
  • "Don't Celebrate 1492 - Mourn It" - August 1990
  • "Why Hollywood Breeds Self-indulgence" - January 1981
  • "Free To Go To The Devil" - July 1981
  • "Shipping Darwin's Ideas To the Home Screen" - January 1980
  • "Films and Plays About Vietnam Treat Everything but the War" - May 1979
  • "Gezellig Amsterdam: 'Cozy and Convivial'" - March 1978
  • "There Exists in The 20th Century A 19th-Century Dictatorship, And Its Name Is Paraguay" - January 1974
  • "On Solzhenitsyns in Reverse" - June 1974
  • "That Rarest of Birds, a Successful Political Movie" - June 1974
  • "Travel Is Destroying a Major Reason for Travelling" - November 1974
  • "The Enemy Factor' In New York and 'Civilized' London" - December 1973
  • "The Semantics Of War" - February 1972
  • "One Fourth of Mankind; One Fourth of Mankind" - May 1967
  • "Deux Simenons" - May 1966
  • "'Pourboire' or 'Trinkgelt' or 'Mancia'" - April 1960
  • "Letters That Say, 'I Love You'; The heart speaks eloquently in these letters collected in honor of St. Valentine's Day" - February 1959
  • "The Sparkling Legacy Of Dom Perignon" - November 1958
  • "More and More the Cry of 'Track!'; The Cry of 'Track!'" - January 1958
  • "A Beachologist's Ten Best List; One man's sand-and-sunspots stretch from Skyros to Saint John via Acapulco" - July 1957
  • "A Vote on Europe; Students Polled on Various Countries After Making First Trip Abroad First Survey Other Categories" - October 1956

The New Yorker

  • "Naval Aviation" - 1998
  • "Onward and Upward with the Arts: The Eleventh Edition" - 1981
  • "China Notes" - 1967
  • "Letter from Havana" - 1962
  • "Letter from Mexico City" - 1960

The Atlantic Monthly

  • "Notes on the Twentieth Century" - September 1997
  • "Germania Irredenta" - July 1996
  • "On France's Blessed South Coast" - December 1996
  • "A French Mirror" - December 1995
  • "Notes on the Mirror With a Memory" - July 1990

Harpers Magazine

  • "A life colored by war: Amsterdam, May 1940" - May 1990
  • "Ifs: Destiny and the archduke's chauffeur" - May 1988
  • "Where money has little currency. Travels in East Germany" - November 1987
  • "Poland's new “far west”" - July 1965

The Nation

  • "Still Not Over Over There?" - August 1999
  • "At Home Abroad" - February 1986
  • "False Solidarity" - January 1982
  • "On Terrorism" - February 1980
  • "Vision of Hell" - October 1980
  • "Direct Line" - November 1980
  • "Argentina Joins the Third World" - July 1973

Film Quarterly

  • "From Book to Film - via John Huston" - Spring 1969

External links