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


Geert Mak

Geert Mak

  • In Europe - Prof. Zhang Ning in conversation with Geert Mak
    Date: Wed 31 August Time: 03.30 pm Venue: BIBF
  • Café Amsterdam II: Eberhard van der Laan in conversation with Geert Mak
    Date: Fri 2 September Time: 7:00 pm Venue: le Café, UCCA
  • Café Amsterdam III: ‘The photo book as successful medium’
    Date: Sat 3 September Time: 4:00 pm Venue: la Suite, UCCA
  • In Europe - A lecture by Geert Mak
    Date: Sun 4 September Time: 07.00 pm Venue: Beijing Normal University

Life and work

Geert Mak (b. Vlaardingen) is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers and all his books become huge bestsellers: De engel van Amsterdam (The Angel of Amsterdam, 1992), Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam (Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City, 1994), Hoe God verdween uit Jorwerd (Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in Late Twentieth-Century Europe, 1996), De eeuw van mijn vader (My Father’s Century, 1999) and In Europa (2004). His latest book is De brug (The Bridge, 2007), about the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. In 2008 the ‘Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung’ was conferred upon Geert Mak.

Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam

This book is intended for visitors, tourists and native Amsterdammers who want to learn more about the city’s roots, without having to dive into comprehensive historical tomes. Its compactness alone makes Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City unique. The book is structured around specific events, people and, sometimes, houses. The author uses these particulars to tell a larger story and give a broader perspective. Mak set off on foot through Amsterdam, his own city. As he walked he observed and took notes, collecting the stories that ‘are lying on your own doorstep’ - for those who want to see and hear them.

For Geert Mak the story of Amsterdam starts in the marshes where the city was built. Amsterdam’s struggle to rise up out of these marshes gave birth to an administrative tradition which was to determine Dutch politics for centuries.

From events in the early Middle Ages (revolts, famine, the plague) Mak leads us through the expansion of trade and sea-faring in the seventeenth century, the French Revolution, the rise of the new middle class in the nineteenth century, and the persecution of the Jews in World War II, before arriving at the rapid changes that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. For each event, Mak finds a forgotten page from history or an little-known historical figure who brings the past to life. This is Mak’s greatest achievement more than just a historian, he proves himself to be a talented story-teller.

Translation in Chinese

  • Mak, Geert. [Amusitedan: Yizuo chengshi de xiaozhuan] Chinese / translated from English by Xiaoyong CHEN - Xiaohong ZHANG. Guangzhou: Flower City Publishing House, 2007. Published with support from the Literair Productiefonds. ISBN: 9787536050877.
  • Mak, Geert. [(In Europa)] Chinese / translated from English. Guangzhou: Flower City Publishing House, in preparation since 2009.

Titles in NLF-database

Authors