"Cooking for Children. Wonderful."

Renske de Greef is a Dutch columnist and artist. Since 2000, she has written columns for magazines and newspapers such as Spunk, De Morgen, nrc.next and MacFan, as well as a couple of novels. She has a weekly comics column called 'Renske Stript' (2015- ) in NRC, tackling everyday observations and irritations.

Early life
Born in Utrecht in 1984, De Greef was an avid doodler during childhood. She inherited her preference for the absurd and the macabre humor of authors like Roald Dahl from her father, who works in the medical world. Her mother is a graphic designer. Renske had the ambition to become a comic artist, but backed out because she felt she wasn't technically skilled enough. Instead she turned to writing.

Only sixteen years old, she became a columnist for the youth magazine Spunk. Working for the magazine between 2000 and 2004, she especially came to notice with her column about sex and relationships, called 'Lust' (2002-2004). In 2005 it was collected in book format by Nijgh & Van Ditmar under the title 'Lust: liefde seks en bambihertjes'. With former Spunk editor Jan Hoek she subsequently wrote the book 'Ja/Nee: Geef me alsjeblieft aandacht/Laat me toch met rust' (2006). The two spent a large part of 2008 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to set up a youth magazine. On that year's World AIDS Day, she released 'Seks in Afrika: tongzoenen, flirten, rites en aids' (Spunk, 2008), a book based on conversations she had during a trip through four African countries.

De Greef had a weekly column in the Flemish newspaper De Morgen between 2005 and 2009, and then filled Aaf Brandt Corstius' daily spot in nrc.next between 2010 and 2013. Her columns for this Dutch newspaper were collected in the books 'Vraagstukken voor telaatkomers, Funda-verslaafden en mensen die hun printer niet vertrouwen' (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2013) and 'Geen Paniek - over ongemakkelijke situaties en andere feestelijkheden' (De Arbeiderspers, 2013). She has also written columns and editorials for JOIN (2009), MacFan (since 2014) and other magazines.

Her first novel, 'Was alles maar konijnen', was published by Meulenhoff in 2007. It is described as a "whimsical fairy tale about loneliness and longing". In 2007 she wrote a contribution to 'Er was geenszins' (Oogachtend, 2007), an absurd fairy tale book aimed at an adult audience, for which Kim Duchateau provided illustrations.  Her time in Dar es Salaam served as an inspiration for 'En je ziet nog eens wat' (Meulenhoff, 2009), her next novel delving into a new subculture: young volunteers in Africa. With Karlijn Souren and Andreia Costa she wrote the book 'Watertanden' (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2013) and with Ringo Maurer, she compiled 'Troika hier, troika daar. Drs. P, het allermooiste bij elkaar' (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2015), a compendium with the best work of the iconic Dutch "light verse" poet Drs. P.

"The Lost Words Reserve" and "We should do away with the question 'how are you'"?

Renske stript
A trip to the Galapagos Islands stirred up her knack for drawing again. She wanted to chronicle her experiences, but felt that writing seemed too much like working. Back home, she continued to draw about her everyday observations, and eventually presented these columns to the editors of NRC Handelsblad. Much to her own surprise, the paper was eager to run them, and 'Renske Stript' commenced its weekly publication in 2015. Instead of a comic in the traditional way, Renske's drawn columns are handwritten articles with sequential illustrations. The author gives her own comical view on the everyday happenings and irritations of modern life. All kinds of subjects pass in review, varying from motherhood, online shopping, the desperation of New Year's get-togethers and small talk, vegetarianism, social shaming, birth control, Netflix, politics and gender roles. Her aim is not to attack or preach, although her sense of humor has its cynical streaks. In an interview published in Het Parool on 11 July 2020, De Greef explained she sees her comics as a "self-study about the question why something is like it is, and if that's pleasant, and that you can look at things from different angles". Her comics have been collected in the books 'Waarom ik mensen niet in mootjes hak' (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2017) and 'Gewoon even optimaal genieten' (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2020).

Other activities
Renske de Greef wrote the script for the short film 'Tienminutengesprek' (2018), and also served as a scriptwriter for the third season of the TV comedy series 'De Regels van Floor' (2019). She also designs and applies tattoos, and sells personally designed postcards through her website.


Series and books by Renske de Greef in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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