Writersblog

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

The Dutch programme at the International Book Fair in Beijing was cunn... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Dear Dutch publishers. The book fair is over. Perhaps you’ll now... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

The days are full and long. We are incessantly bombarded with impressi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Arriving on the stand on the first day, I’d asked a Chinese visi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

Big excitement today since we were finally meeting with Songyu from Fl... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The traffic in Beijing is horrendous, I’m sure the other blogger... >>> read more

Thomas Möhlmann

Thomas Möhlmann, Staff member Dutch Foundation for Literature

What an evening the poets and the approximately 200 onlookers present ... >>> read more

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Dutch illustrators

It’s now the third day, and the first one with plenty of sun. Un... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

What a great opportunity to learn about the Dutch literature for Chine... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

A duck flies to and fro over the vast expanses of world ocean, despera... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

‘In the era of browsing, we provide reading.’ - Slogan see... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The jewel in the crown of our collection of Arbeiderspers titles publi... >>> read more

Michele Hutchison

Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

The Chinese publishers I have met during the course of my career, the ... >>> read more

Salomon Kroonenberg

Salomon Kroonenberg, Dutch writer

I have so far never been to a book fair. Nor do I know what to imagine... >>> read more

Kai Kang

Kai Kang, Journalist China Reading Weekly

Since 2006, I began writing about the Netherlands’ performance a... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

Now that the fair is just round the corner, this is perhaps the moment... >>> read more

Henk Pröpper

Henk Pröpper, Director Dutch Foundation for Literature

In two weeks’ time, the official opening of one of the largest b... >>> read more

Ramsey Nasr

Ramsey Nasr, Dutch poet

Ramsey Nasr (b. 1974, Rotterdam) is a poet and author, actor and direc... >>> read more


Willem Frederik Hermans - The House of Refuge

Willem Frederik Hermans - The House of Refuge

The House of Refuge is a novella of great literary value. Like the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, it shows the effects of war on individuals. Hermans plumbs the madness of war in a subtle yet gripping way, describing how people... >>>> read more

Ramsey Nasr - Heavenly Life

Ramsey Nasr - Heavenly Life

Holland’s current Poet Laureate, its youngest to date, enjoys creating long, unfurling verses in which several voices resound and humour and tragedy coexist. He is not afraid of taking a moral stance. Nasr is a man of many trades, but... >>>> read more

Nachoem M. Wijnberg - Selected Poems

Nachoem M. Wijnberg - Selected Poems

According to Nachoem M. Wijnberg, one of the Netherlands’ preeminent living poets, it should be possible to say of a poem: it begins well, but by line seven it becomes a false claim. He also once said that a child... >>>> read more

Lucebert – Collected Poems

Lucebert – Collected Poems

Lucebert (1924-94) was one of the most influential innovators in twentieth-century Dutch poetry. He was a key figure in the Fiftiers Movement, a group of experimental poets who changed the face of Dutch literature in the years that followed World... >>>> read more

Martinus Nijhoff - Awater

Martinus Nijhoff - Awater

Martinus Nijhoff was born into a family of booksellers and publishers in The Hague in 1894. His four collections of poetry include some of the best work ever published in Dutch. He was immediately recognized as a poet of rare... >>>> read more

Judith Eiselin - Jim (Illustrator Monique Bauman)

Judith Eiselin - Jim (Illustrator Monique Bauman)

Judith Eiselin is one of those rare children’s writers capable of entering into the heads of their characters, in this case eleven-year-old Kiki Moerman. Kiki’s fourteen-year-old brother Jelmer is highly gifted but extremely sensitive. He goes off into his own... >>>> read more

Thé Tjong-Khing - The Storyteller’s Thirty Most Beautiful Fairytales

Thé Tjong-Khing - The Storyteller’s Thirty Most Beautiful Fairytales

Thé Tjong-Khing, the most highly acclaimed illustrator in the Netherlands, realized when he was reading stories to his grandson just how complex fairytales can be. Gottmer commissioned him to compile two books of fairytales, in which he recounted famous tales... >>>> read more

Bas van Lier - How Much Paper Goes Into a Tree?

Bas van Lier - How Much Paper Goes Into a Tree?

In part seven of the successful Children’s Questions series, Bas van Lier answers fifty questions about sustainability. As for the title: ‘With one tree trunk of around ten metres long and thirty centimetres thick, you can make about eight thousand... >>>> read more

Henk van Straten & Martijn van der Linden - All the Fish Found Elephant

Henk van Straten & Martijn van der Linden - All the Fish Found Elephant

One day an elephant appears in the sea, just bobbing along. None of the sea creatures know where it’s come from or even whether it really is an elephant. ‘Elephants don’t exist,’ says one. ‘Yes, they do,’ says another, ‘but... >>>> read more

Annemarie van Haeringen - JoJo the Snake Girl

Annemarie van Haeringen - JoJo the Snake Girl

JoJo is born in the circus, but with six brothers there isn’t really any room for her. The cutlery tray is her cradle and her first bed is a drawer in the sideboard. She has to fold herself up to... >>>> read more

Hans Kuyper and Alice Hoogstad - Friends Happy and Sad

Hans Kuyper and Alice Hoogstad - Friends Happy and Sad

Hans Kuyper and Alice Hoogstad joined forces to create this lavish rhyming picture book, with emotions that simply leap off the pages. The fun starts on the endpapers, where Hoogstad portrays a colourful parade of creatures: the lonely elephant with... >>>> read more

Ap Dijksterhuis - The Smart Unconscious. Thinking by feel

Ap Dijksterhuis - The Smart Unconscious. Thinking by feel

We make important decisions based on a conscious appraisal - or so we think. Whether that is truly the case we do not know. Psychologist Ap Dijksterhuis began contemplating the matter after taking just five minutes to decide on the... >>>> read more

Iki Freud - Electra. The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship

Iki Freud - Electra. The Drama of the Mother-Daughter Relationship

In her practice as a psychotherapist Iki Freud found herself dealing with women who encountered problems after their children were born. Some were suffering from serious depression, with feelings of guilt at being unable to love their babies as they... >>>> read more

Rik Smits - The Puzzle of Left-Handedness. How hand-preference colours the world

Rik Smits - The Puzzle of Left-Handedness. How hand-preference colours the world

Throughout history left-handedness has been associated with clumsiness, maladies of all kinds and unpleasant character traits. All these negative connotations have meant that left-handed people were subjected to harsh treatment, even persecution. Today left-handedness no longer bears a stigma –... >>>> read more

Dick Swaab - We Are Our Brains. From the womb to Alzheimer’s

Dick Swaab - We Are Our Brains. From the womb to Alzheimer’s

It has long been assumed in the West that upbringing determines who a child will become. The negative side to this conviction is that everything that can go wrong in a person’s life can be blamed on the parents and,... >>>> read more

Frank Westerman - Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse

Frank Westerman - Brother Mendel’s Perfect Horse

Frank Westerman explores the great human tragedies of the twentieth century through the story of a horse, the Lipizzaner, in an astonishing quest through the pure bloodlines of four generations of Viennese ‘school stallions’ to discover what they meant to... >>>> read more

Luuk van Middelaar - The Passage to Europe. History of a beginning

Luuk van Middelaar - The Passage to Europe. History of a beginning

Luuk van Middelaar makes a highly original connection between the world of European power politics since 1500 and the Brussels institutions of today. International events have repeatedly forced Europe to find a new role for itself on the world stage:... >>>> read more

Hans Ibelings - European Architecture since 1890

Hans Ibelings - European Architecture since 1890

Towards the end of the nineteenth century European cities began to grow at an explosive rate, creating huge demand for public buildings. New city dwellers attracted by industry and commerce needed houses, schools, hospitals and libraries. Architects were no longer... >>>> read more

Boudewijn Bakker - Landscape and World View. From Van Eyck to Rembrandt

Boudewijn Bakker - Landscape and World View. From Van Eyck to Rembrandt

Art critics like to emphasize the modern and realist character of seventeenth-century Dutch landscape paintings, but Boudewijn Bakker explicitly distances himself from that interpretation. He points to a long tradition of landscape as a subject in Dutch painting that stretches... >>>> read more

Herman Koch - Summerhouse with Swimming Pool

Herman Koch - Summerhouse with Swimming Pool

Doctors are unassailable. Their patients, with all their secrets, are delivered up to them body and soul. Marc Schlosser, the central character in Herman Koch’s Summerhouse with Swimming Pool, is a family doctor to the rich and famous, and behind... >>>> read more

Gerbrand Bakker - The Detour

Gerbrand Bakker - The Detour

The natural world occupies a prominent place in Gerbrand Bakker’s still relatively small oeuvre. As a farmer’s son and now a horticulturalist, he has a detailed knowledge of the subject. In his work, nature is no romantic backdrop but a... >>>> read more

Peter Buwalda - Bonita Avenue

Peter Buwalda - Bonita Avenue

An honourable man destroyed by the disgrace brought upon him by his children – Peter Buwalda has given this universal and timeless theme a contemporary setting. Siem Sigerius’ life takes an upward path until 2000, the year in which an... >>>> read more

Tomas Lieske - Everything Shifts

Tomas Lieske - Everything Shifts

It will come as no surprise to readers of Lieske that in his latest novel he switches perspectives and shuffles disorienting atmospheres, until it seems as if nothing can be relied upon. Thirty-four-year-old protagonist Anton Milot, grieving for his wife... >>>> read more

Tommy Wieringa - Caesarion

Tommy Wieringa - Caesarion

Research for this novel took Tommy Wieringa to three continents, from an English seaside town to the jungles of Panama, from the Middle East to the United States. They are all ports of call on the Odyssey undertaken by his... >>>> read more

Charles den Tex - Cell

Charles den Tex - Cell

It is every citizen’s dilemma in this era of ever advancing information technology: can privacy still be protected now that more and more personal data are stored online? In Cell, the ingeniously constructed plot turns on identity theft. Business consultant... >>>> read more

Arnon Grunberg - Phantom Pain

Arnon Grunberg - Phantom Pain

‘If the laws of economics apply to anything, then it’s to emotions,’ is one of Robert Mehlman’s many one-liners. Mehlman, the narrator in Phantom Pain, is tormented by writer’s block, his only successful publication being a cookery book called The... >>>> read more

A.F.Th van der Heijden – Ash Destination

A.F.Th van der Heijden – Ash Destination

Reality and fiction are always closely bound up together in the work of A.F.Th. van der Heijden. Historical events – such as the coronation of Queen Beatrix in 1980, which was marked by heavy riots on the streets of Amsterdam,... >>>> read more

Margriet de Moor - The Virtuoso

Margriet de Moor - The Virtuoso

In Margriet de Moor’s novels and stories, amorous relationships are usually a source of conflict, as devotion imposes limits on personal freedom. In The Virtuoso (1993), set in Italy in the turbulent mid-eighteenth century, love is a lopsided business. Celebrated... >>>> read more

Harry Mulisch - Archibald Strohalm

Harry Mulisch - Archibald Strohalm

On publication of his debut novel Archibald Strohalm in 1951, Harry Mulisch was immediately recognized a great literary talent and new voice in post-war Dutch literature. This highly imaginative story with its bizarre characters set the tone for Mulisch’s extraordinary... >>>> read more

Anna Enquist - The Homecoming

Anna Enquist - The Homecoming

In The Homecoming Anna Enquist tells the story of the marriage of James Cook, the great eighteenth-century explorer who charted a large part of the globe. Elizabeth Batts, James’ wife, is waiting for him to return from his second voyage,... >>>> read more

F. Springer - Bougainville

F. Springer - Bougainville

F. Springer was a diplomat who travelled the world. Several remarkable episodes from his time spent ‘living out of a suitcase’ are reflected in the lives of his characters. Like the worldly Stendhal, he takes a light and humorous approach.... >>>> read more

Harry Mulisch - The Stone Bridal Bed

Harry Mulisch - The Stone Bridal Bed

In The Stone Bridal Bed Harry Mulisch describes what J.M. Coetzee has called ‘the peculiarly male pleasure in violation, a joy in destruction that is to be found as much among Homer’s Greeks as among the American airmen who bombed... >>>> read more

Maria Dermoût - The Ten Thousand Things

Maria Dermoût - The Ten Thousand Things

First published in 1955, The Ten Thousand Things was immediately recognized as a truly magical work. Maria Dermoût depicts the idyllic setting beautifully, and she handles the legends and darker aspects of the story, ghosts, superstition, even murder, with consummate... >>>> read more

Hella Haasse - Oeroeg

Hella Haasse - Oeroeg

For many Dutch people, this short novel was an eye-opening introduction to race relations in the colonial Dutch East Indies. In the brief scope of a novella, Haasse illuminates the funda-mental problems of the colonial system. From early childhood, the... >>>> read more

E. du Perron - Country of Origin

E. du Perron - Country of Origin

E. du Perron, along with his friend, the essayist and writer Menno ter Braak, possessed the good taste and sense of direction needed to brighten the literary climate of The Netherlands in the 1930s. As editors of the renowned magazine... >>>> read more

Thomas Rosenboom - Point Shoes

Thomas Rosenboom - Point Shoes

Thomas Rosenboom’s novella Point Shoes is set in contemporary Amsterdam. Its watertight structure and plot ensure that this story of the love of the apparently dull Bijman for Esther, a woman he meets at tango lessons, will continue to haunt... >>>> read more

Oek de Jong - Hokwerda’s Child

Oek de Jong - Hokwerda’s Child

In Hokwerda’s Child, the writer tells the story of a determined young woman, Lin Hokwerda, who loses herself in love. The book is narrated with a broad vision and an extraordinary eye for detail. The novel opens with an oppressive... >>>> read more

Hella Haasse - The Eye of the Key

Hella Haasse - The Eye of the Key

Hella Haasse’s The Eye of the Key has been hailed by Dutch literary critics as one of the best books she has ever written. It is the story of her return to her native soil, the Dutch East Indies. Herma... >>>> read more

Harry Mulisch - Siegfried: A Black Idyll

Harry Mulisch - Siegfried: A Black Idyll

In Siegfried, Mulisch looks back to World War II. Rudolf Herter, a feted author, wants to fathom the most inscrutable person he has ever heard of: Adolf Hitler. But how should he go about it? Providence comes to his aid.... >>>> read more

Hugo Claus - The Rumours

Hugo Claus - The Rumours

Hugo Claus set The Rumours in the mid-1960s. René Catrijsse, a man in his twenties who fought in the Belgian Congo before deserting, returns to his home village of Alegem in West Flanders, a stifling, closed society of corrupt souls.... >>>> read more

Frans Kellendonk - Mystical Body

Frans Kellendonk - Mystical Body

In a novel both comical and tragic, Frans Kellendonk explores some very delicate themes. Catholic businessman Gijselhart vents his anti-semitic views when he learns that his daughter is pregnant by Bruno Pechman, a Jew. She has come home to have... >>>> read more

Gerhard Durlacher - Stripes in the Sky

Gerhard Durlacher - Stripes in the Sky

This book concerns all of us, even if we belong to a generation born long after Auschwitz, where the young Gerhard Durlacher was the only member of his family to survive. Stripes in the Sky recounts many moments of anguish,... >>>> read more

F.B. Hotz - Dead Means of Defense

F.B. Hotz - Dead Means of Defense

Over a period of twenty years F.B. Hotz produced an outstanding body of work that occupies a prominent place in Dutch letters. In a crystal-clear style, Hotz evokes a world of flamboyant layabouts, door-todoor salesmen with families to support, and... >>>> read more

Frank Martinus Arion - Double Play

Frank Martinus Arion - Double Play

It is a hot afternoon in the village of Wakota on Curaçao, an island in the Netherlands Antilles. Four men sit under a tamarind tree, playing dominoes: Booboo Fiel, taxi driver and layabout; Manchi Sanantonio, bailiff and owner of the... >>>> read more

Jona Oberski - Childhood

Jona Oberski - Childhood

The facts alone would be enough to make Childhood an extraordinary and important book, but Jona Oberski presents them in such a way that he creates a deeply affecting literary work. It describes the experiences of a Jewish boy between... >>>> read more

Henk van Woerden - A Mouthful of Glass

Henk van Woerden - A Mouthful of Glass

In 1966 Demitrios Tsafendas killed South African premier Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid. In this powerful book Henk Van Woerden reconstructs the life of Tsafendas and gives at the same time a personal and intimate account of the South... >>>> read more

Harry Mulisch - The Criminal Case 40-61: A Report

Harry Mulisch - The Criminal Case 40-61: A Report

In 1961, Harry Mulisch went to Jerusalem to report on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the captured Nazi war criminal. Afterwards he published The Criminal Case 40-61, a disturbing personal essay about the Nazi mass murder of European Jews. Mulisch... >>>> read more

Henk van Woerden - Ultramarine

Henk van Woerden - Ultramarine

Ultramarine is a scintillating portrayal of the eastern Mediterranean in the second half of the twentieth century. Like Orhan Pamuk, and perhaps even more, Van Woerden shows how unquestioning imitation of western customs leads to the degeneration of indigenous cultures.... >>>> read more

Tommy Wieringa - Joe Speedboat

Tommy Wieringa - Joe Speedboat

With his wheelchair-bound narrator, Fransje Hermans, who has cerebral palsy and cannot speak but only grunt unintelligibly, Tommy Wieringa has written a novel whose every page sparkles with brilliant inventiveness. The story centres on Joe Speedboat, Fransje’s friend and enterprising... >>>> read more

Willem Frederik Hermans - Beyond Sleep

Willem Frederik Hermans - Beyond Sleep

Beyond Sleep is the oppressive story, told with consummate skill, of young geologist Alfred Issendorf. Like all scientists, he dreams of fame and immortality. Along with a young geologist called Arne and two assistants, he sets off for the North... >>>> read more

Gerard Reve - The Evenings

Gerard Reve - The Evenings

When the novel The Evenings first appeared, Reve was hailed as ‘the voice of a generation’. Since then the book has become a modern classic, continuing to appeal to each succeeding generation. The book revolves around Frits van Egters, twenty-three... >>>> read more

F. Bordewijk - Character

F. Bordewijk - Character

Character tells the story of Katadreuffe, a clerk struggling to work his way up in society. He opens a shop, only to be made bankrupt by the formidable bailiff Dreverhaven, his own father. Every time success comes within reach, his... >>>> read more

Willem Elsschot - Cheese

Willem Elsschot - Cheese

Cheese is a gentle, satirical fable of capitalism and wealth. Frans Laarmans is a humble shipping clerk. One day he is suddenly elevated to the position of chief agent for a Dutch cheese company, with responsibility for Belgium and the... >>>> read more