Dutch crime fiction writer and artist Janwillem van de Wetering astride one of his whimsical animal sculptures. He lived in Surry from 1975 to 2008.

Talk to explore late Dutch crime novelist’s life

ELLSWORTH — Dutch author and artist Janwillem van de Wetering (1931-2008) traveled the world before making his home in Surry in 1975. The former police officer and aspiring Buddhist monk was well known for his series of crime novels featuring the odd-fellow Dutch detectives Rinus de Gier and Henk Grijpstra.

Van de Wetering, some of whose thrillers included “Just A Corpse at Twilight,” “The Hollow-Eyed Angel,” “The Blond Baboon” and “The Maine Massacre,” is the focus of Somesville arts writer Carl Little’s talk “Zen and the Art of Janwillem van de Wetering” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, at The Grand. The event is co-sponsored by The Grand and Ellsworth Public Library. Admission is free.

Van de Wetering also wrote two books — “The Empty Mirror” and “A Glimpse of Nothingness” — about his explorations of Zen Buddhism as well as a series of children’s books starring a thoughtful porcupine named Hugh Pine.

Little will talk about van de Wetering’s life and writings. In addition to highlighting the author’s worldwide adventures, he will read short excerpts from several books. The presentation, which will include slides, is based on Little’s tribute to van de Wetering delivered at the University of Southern Maine in 2010.

The event also will feature a screening of Hancock writer Sandy Phippen’s 2000 interview with van de Wetering on Maine Public Television. Thursday’s event is a warm-up to a two-day Janwillem van de Wetering Festival next fall.

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