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


Michele Hutchison, Editor De Arbeiderspers

'I need some anarchy!'

Arriving on the stand on the first day, I’d asked a Chinese visitor how she thought her fellow countrymen would react to Dutch literature. She thought they’d be mainly, perhaps solely, interested in the children’s books and the comics exhibition.

Ramsey Nasr (‘Lamsey Nasher’) taking a political stand, grabbing a megaphone

Dutch children’s books are doing well in China, there is a significant market for them. With limited numbers of children, parents want to make sure they get the very best upbringing; allied to this, the education sector is also a major part of publishing here too. She was right: the comics exhibition thronged with visitors, the children’s books were much examined and the art and architecture books went down well too.

But what neither of us had predicted was the level of attendance at the Dutch events. The readings by all the writers were incredibly well-attended, the audiences attentive and enthusiastic. It was a heart-warming experience for an editor grown cynical after a long succession of events back home attended by just a handful of spectators. This is not how the Dutch welcome visiting writers. Tonight’s poetry programme in a hip hutong in the centre was jam-packed. They even took kindly to Ramsey Nasr (‘Lamsey Nasher’) taking a political stand, grabbing a megaphone and shouting out, ‘I need some anarchy!’

As the fair nears an end, I’m feeling quite optimistic. The rains have washed away the smog and there’s a blue sky for the first time during our visit. I might not have found Thinkingdom (the cued-up Toby Eady Associates couldn’t help either) but Jelto Drenth is at the forefront of a sexual revolution, Maarten ‘t Hart has gone down a treat, there’s a scrap on for the rights to Bride Flight and Anna Enquist’s events have been full.