- Xavier DeutschAuthor–Belgium
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Xavier Deutsch was born in Leuven, Belgium, in 1965. He holds a PhD in philosophy and literature and has written about forty literary works (including novels, short stories, plays, articles, and essays) for adults and for teenagers. Some of his most known works are Allez! Allez! (Come on! Come on!), awarded Prix Totem du salon du livre de jeunesse de Montreuil, and La belle étoile (The bright star), which earned Belgium's most prestigious award, the Prix Rossel. He may have been writing since 1989, but he started dedicating himself completely to writing in 1996.
Deutsch writes for teenagers and young adults, and his characters are more or less the same age as the readers of his novels. Through his novels, we discover adolescents who, like so many others, try to understand the society they live in. Sometimes they learn what it means to go into adulthood, experience their first love, live the complicated life of children whose parents are separated, end up looking for a parent, or deal with problems bigger than they are. Xavier Deutsch's novels deal with important themes that affect the majority of potential readers: the survival of democracy in a society abused by television and consumption, corporate lobbying to influence economic policy, the necessity of critical spirit and freedom of opinion, and the merits of resistance or obedience. Many young readers identify with the characters created by Xavier Deutsch and understand their reasons for revolt. Readers cannot help wondering how they would react in the place of the fictional characters created by Deutsch.
Does Xavier Deutsch want to say something special? Is there a message to deliver? No, this is not his conception of literature. According to Deutsch,
Literature is not a little obedient mule that carries on its back the thought of the author, to transmit it obediently to the readers. Literature is a wild horse that springs wildly out of its author, without the author attempting to domesticate it, then gallops through unknown plains and mountains. [End Page 11]