notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Tessa de Loo’

In Byron’s Footsteps

In Masters on February 11, 2013 at 10:03 AM

lord byron
When Tessa de Loo saw Albania for the first time, no foreigners were allowed to enter. Filled with a great curiosity, longing, and a sense of wonderment by this isolated land, de Loo gazed toward the mountains that stood like ‘the backs of patiently waiting elephants’ across the water from Corfu. Inspired by the famous Thomas Phillips portrait of Lord Byron in Albanian national costume, de Loo stole her way in and found a country suffering the hardships of post-communist reality and the constant and sometimes fractious clash between tradition and modernity. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, de Loo, the award-winning author of The Twins, has written a fascinating travelogue and a very personal reassessment of the life and works of Lord Byron: In Byron’s Footsteps, translated by Andy Brown.

Praise for the Dutch Edition of In Byron’s Footsteps
‘[One notes] the seriousness and humour with which De Loo laces her contribution to superior travel literature… She gives her report in the form of letters to Byron (My dear friend, My dearest George) alternated with chapters where she recounts Byron’s journey. However euphoric De Loo’s report is not too affected, it stays lively and informative…. is a book of contrasts, surprises and disappointments, written cheerfully and with eye for details.’ – Vrij Nederland

A translator’s note from Andy Brown:
‘Translating In Byron’s Footsteps was a true labour of love. Like Tessa de Loo, I became acquainted with Byron as a teenager at school. I lost sight of him over the years, but travelling with him to Albania, I rediscovered him and saw his rebelliousness and humour in a different light.

Byron was not always loved in his home country, and the feeling was mutual. Before he left on the journey that would eventually lead him to Albania, he had ordered his business agent to sell his family estate, saying: ‘[…] allow me to depart from this cursed country, and I promise to turn Mussulman, rather than return to it.’ Tessa de Loo went to Albania to find Byron. Perhaps by translating her wonderful account of their journey together, I have helped her to bring him home.’

Tessa de Loo’s novel The Twinshas been translated into 25 languages. She is the author of The Book of Doubt, which is longlisted for the 2013 IMPAC. The Book of Doubt will be available in the US March 2013.
Tessa de Loo lives in south Portugal and Paris and is one of the most successful writers in the Dutch language.

Nominees 2013 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

In Awards on November 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The Book of Doubt - Tesa de Loo

154 books have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Four Dutch authors are among 43 American, 22 British and 12 Canadian, 8 Irish novels as well as 42 books translated into English from 18 other languages:

The Book of Doubt by Tessa de Loo, translated by Brian Doyle (Haus Publishing, UK). Tessa de Loo’s novel The Twins has been translated into 25 languages. She is also the author of In Byron’s Footsteps.

Even though he is the son of a Dutch mother, Saeed has a Moroccan first name in memory of the virtuoso oud player his mother fell in love with twenty years ago. When she found out she was pregnant, he ran off and returned to Morocco. Saeed decides to look for his father, in the hope of finding a new identity in a new world.

Julia by Otto de Kat, translated by Ina Rilke (MacLehose Press, UK)

One summer’s afternoon in 1981, a factory owner, Christiaan Dudok, is found dead in his study having taken his own life. He has left no suicide note, but on his desk is a newspaper from 2 April 1942, reporting on the bombing of the north German town of Lübeck. The list of the dead includes the highlighted name of Julia Bender. As a young man finishing his studies in Lübeck in 1938, Christiaan is irresistibly drawn to Julia, a courageous German who has emphatically rejected the Nazi regime.

Otto de Kat lives and works as a publisher and novelist in Amsterdam. Man on the Move (MacLehose Press, 2009) was the winner of Holland’s Halewijn Literature Prize.

Caesarion (US title: Little Caesar) by Tommy Wieringa, translated by Sam Garrett, nominated edition Portobello Books Ltd., UK.

Caesarion is a novel that asks how anyone can ever know for sure how to be the right parent for their child, and how any child can know how to let themselves be parented. It is a beautiful, strong and brave novel. It confirms Tommy Wieringa as a storyteller of great range and real distinction.

Tommy Wieringa’s novel Joe Speedboat was awarded with the Holland’s Halewijn prize.

The Cocaine Salesman by Conny Braam, translated by Jonathan Reeder (nominated edition: Haus Publishing)

On 31st July 1917, 26-year-old Englishman Robin Ryder clambers from a trench on the Flanders battlefields and charges recklessly towards the German artillery. Later he is heavily wounded by a German grenade; despite extensive plastic surgery, half his face will have to be hidden behind a mask.

Conny Braam’s other books include Operatie Vula, De Bokkeslachter and Zwavel, a trilogy of novels about the Abraham family.

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