Anton Valens (b. 1964, the Netherlands) trained as a painter at the Rietveld Academy and the Rijksacademie. As a student he worked in home care services in Amsterdam, garnering experiences he later used in his debut novel Meester in de hygiene (Master in Hygiene, 2004). The book won him a number of literary prizes. In 2008 Valens published both the story collection Dweiloorlog (Mop War) and the travel account Ik wilde naar de rand van Beijing (I Wanted to Go to the Edge of Beijing). The following year Valens made an indelible impression with his novella Vis (Fish, 2009). In 2012 his novel Het boek Ont (The Book Ont) was published, about a call center worker who tries to get his life back on track by setting up a self-help group. Seriousness and satire go hand in hand in this much-praised book for which Valens won the AKO Literature Prize.