notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Libris Award’

World Editions

In Pick of the Week on February 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM


New publishing house World Editions aims to make the most promising international literary titles available for the greatest possible audience and bringing remarkable authors to the global market by translating their work into English.

Two Dutch books were just published in the World Editions series: Craving by Esther Gerritsen and Gliding Flight by Anne-Gine Goemans

Craving was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize, the Opzij Prize and the Dioraphte Literary Award.

The relationship between Coco and her mother Elisabeth which is uneasy, to say the least. Running into each other by chance, Elisabeth casually tells Coco that she is terminally ill. When Coco moves in with her mother in order to take care of her, aspects of their troubled relationship come to the fore once again. Elisabeth tries her best to conform to the image of a caring mother, but struggles to deal with Coco´s erratic behavior and unpredictable moods.

Gliding Flight is is the second novel of Anne-Gine Goemans.  The novel was awarded the Dioraphte Literary Award and the German M Pionier Award for new literary talent.

Inventive, dreamy Gieles lives with his father and a flock of geese on a spotters’ campground next to an airstrip. Gieles is longing for affection—from the mysterious dreadlocked girl he has met online, and also from his mother, who is always away on hopeless missions to save the world. With an ingenious but dangerous plan he tries to attract their attention.


Narrated by a canvas

In Books that need to be reprinted on November 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

The Portrait - Willem Jan Otten

“If you, like me, come into the world white and completely blank, with nothing on you at all, you are totally dependent on what they make of you.”

The Portrait is a short and beautiful novel from one of Holland’s most talented writers Willem Jan Otten. Reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey – a novel narrated by a canvas, an extraordinary eye-witness and participant in an incredible story.

A young painter, loved for his fine and true-to-life portraits, receives a commission that is unlike any he’s had before: make a portrait of a dead boy. ‘You will save a life with it’ says the boy’s extremely rich father. The painter knows he will have to surpass himself. He takes on the job. Who was the boy? Why is he dead? Why, when the painting is finished, does the father not come to collect it? And why is the painter actually making this painting?

The portrait is an extraordinary and thrilling novel about the desire to bring someone into the world. It is also about love and death, betrayal and trust, truth and falsehood, lies and honesty. Otten, with all the story-telling talent he has at his disposal, plays with secrets and riddles that the reader can only unravel at the very end. Ten years after his last novel (Nothing wrong with us) Otten once again shows that he can write an ingenious, contemporary and truly gripping novel in a much shorter space than many of his peers.

It was first published in Dutch as Specht en Zoon in 2005 and  after it won the prestigious Libris Literary Award in 2006, the novel was translated in German, Italian, Swedisch, Romanian and even Korean. In 2009 it was translated in English by David Colmer and published in Australia. Unfortunately it’s currently nowhere to be found, which is a shame.

Foreign rights are represented by The Susijn Agency in London, United Kingdom.

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