Auke Hulst is primarily known as a Dutch award-winning novelist and travel writer, but in a parallel life he is also the frontman of Dutch band De Meisjes, and a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist. His first effort, The Hidden Shape, was released in 2009, under the moniker Sponsored by Prozac, followed by Amsterdam – Odessa, the soundtrack to German documentary series Von Amsterdam nach Odessa (ARTE, 2016), which Hulst presented. In 2017 he released Motel Songs, an album written and recorded during a road trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco. It is part of the travel book of the same name, a book about art and death, containing stories about musical and literary heroes like Prince, Jeff Buckley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick and Kurt Cobain, but also about his father, who died at the age of 43. Motel Songs won the Bob den Uyl Award for best Dutch travel book. His latest record is A Most Present Absence, which was mostly recorded and mixed during the 2020 lockdown.
As a writer Hulst has published 7 novels and 3 travel books. Most successful was Kinderen van het Ruige Land (Children of the Savage Land, 2012), an autobiographical novel about a disorganised youth in a forgotten and doomed stretch of Dutch countryside. His novels Slaap zacht, Johnny Idaho (Sleep Tight, Johnny Idaho, 2015), En ik herinner met Titus Broederland (Brotherland, 2016) and Zoeklicht op het gazon (Searchlight on the Lawn, 2018) were praised by critics and literary juries alike, and awarded several prizes. His latest novel, De Mitsukoshi Troostbaby Company (The Mitsukoshi Comfort Baby Company, 2021), was hailed as 'his magnum opus' by De Volkskrant, and named 'the crowning achievement in his oeuvre' by NRC Handelsblad.