Naima El Bezaz (born 1974 in Meknes, Morocco- August 2020) was a Moroccan-Dutch writer, who also gave lectures and wrote stories, essays, and columns.
Her family immigrated to The Netherlands when she was four years old. After finishing high school she went to college but quit to start a career in writing. She met author Yvonne Kroonenberg at a lecture who got her into contact with publisher “Contact”, resulting in her first book, “The Way North”. This title appeared in 1996 and for this book she received the “Jenny Smelik-IBBY-Prijs”, an award for authors of children’s or youth literature focusing on minority children in the Netherlands. The novel became very popular among Dutch youths.
In 2002 her second novel The Devil’s Lover appeared and the story bundle became an instant bestseller. In Jack Spijkerman’s Kopspijkers she read an explicit passage of her book, angering Muslims and Christians.
In September 2006 her third and most controversial book appears, The Expelled One is full of explicit content and criticism of religious dogmatism. Uitgeverij Contact calls it “The Moroccan-Dutch Turks Fruit” (referring to the famous taboo-breaking Jan Wolkers novel).
El Bezaz struggled with depression for many years. She took her own life on 7 August 2020.
List of works:
- De weg naar het noorden (Dutch)(1995)
- Minnares van de duivel (1999)
- De verstotene (2006)
- Het gelukssyndroom (2008)
- Vinexvrouwen (2010)
- Méér Vinexvrouwen (2012)
- In dienst van de duivel (2013)