|JAN WOLKERS (Associated Press/File 2002)|
THE HAGUE - Novelist, poet, and sculptor Jan Wolkers, whose sex-charged books helped shake off the shackles of postwar conservatism in the Netherlands, died Friday at his home on the North Sea island of Texel, his publisher said. He was 81.
His best-known book was "Turkish Delight," about a stormy relationship between a sculptor and his girlfriend, who break up and are reunited shortly before she dies of a brain tumor.
It was published in 1969 and has been translated into a dozen languages. In 1973, it was made into a film, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Rutger Hauer, that was nominated for an Oscar and voted Best Dutch Film of the 20th century.
Considered one of the four best postwar Dutch writers, Mr. Wolkers won but declined the country's highest literary honors.
In the 1960s, his popular books included "Kort Amerikaans," translated as "Crew Cut," and "Terug naar Oegstgeest," or "Back to Oegstgeest," which were also made into films.
Mr. Wolkers studied painting in Leiden at the end of World War II and sculpture at the Royal Academy of Art in Amsterdam from 1949-53. He started writing in 1957, said his publisher, De Bezige Bij.
As a sculptor, Mr. Wolkers created Amsterdam's Auschwitz Monument - a bed of shattered mirrors covered with glass. A memorial ceremony for victims of the Holocaust is held at the site annually, in a small Amsterdam park.
He also was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and the apartheid regime in South Africa.