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  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    High Tide, Blue Moon
    Janzing draws you into an Impressionist painting and makes you part of the scene ****
    De Standaard

    Antwerp, late nineteenth century: Léonie Osterrieth, a cultured widow, organizes salons in her grand townhouse. Léonie has a soft spot for explorers. Thanks to Léonie’s lobbying and money-raising efforts, the three-master Belgica sets sail from the port of Antwerp. Drawing on the correspondence between Léonie and her entourage, Jolien Janzing reconstructs the experiences of captain and crew. Janzing gives Léonie Osterrieth the tribute she deserves.

  • Cover of Machiavelli’s Audacity
    Cover of Machiavelli’s Audacity
    Machiavelli’s Daring. Philosophy for Free People
    The Machiavelli Beeckman presents is a surprising and confrontational teacher.
    De Standaard

    Beeckman discusses Machiavelli’s original insights that are applicable today. In a challenging book, Beeckman leads the reader to the heart of Machiavelli’s thinking and shows that his works are a rich treasure trove of wise, sharp and clearly formulated insights.

  • Cover of The Discovery of Urk
    Cover of The Discovery of Urk
    The Discovery of Urk
    In the Belgian with the funny accent, Urk has found its own Louis Theroux who has opened up the village to the rest of the world.
    Tzum

    Dissatisfied with an article about a murder on Urk he wrote as a burgeoning journalist, Matthias M.R. Declercq returns in a renewed effort to get to grips with one of the most peculiar villages in the Netherlands. For six months, Declercq lives in the most closed and orthodox fishing village in the Dutch Bible Belt, where he talks to the locals, prays with them, drinks with them, and even goes out fishing with them for a week. Little by little, the trust between them grows and a different reality comes to the fore.

  • Cover of Fire
    Cover of Fire
    Fire. A Forgotten Issue
    Written in a polished style with carefully structured arguments, this reads like a train.
    De Reactor

    In ‘Fire’, Ignaas Devisch develops a new idea about fire’s place in our world. If we plan on maintaining our quality of life, we will need a new source of energy that supports our freedom and wellbeing without destroying the planet and ourselves. The largest fireball in our galaxy – the sun – has this potential. But are we capable of embracing heliocentrism?

  • Cover of Crumbs of Comfort
    Cover of Crumbs of Comfort
    Crumbs of Comfort
    ‘Crumbs of Comfort’ is in short a mother book that places just about all those that have gone before in the shade.
    Knack

    ‘Crumbs of Comfort’ is anything but a hagiography, rather it is poetic, with pages of unvarnished and harrowing prose interspersed with lines of verse and colourful illustrations that give readers a chance to catch their breath. At the same time it is a raw and frank elegy about unexpected small gestures, motherly love, parting, looking back, remembering and the emergence of sisterly love.

  • Cover of Revolusi
    Cover of Revolusi
    Revolusi. Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World
    Monumental. A book whose force only increases as you turn its pages. ****
    De Standaard

    David Van Reybrouck’s ‘Revolusi’ is the first book to go beyond the national perspective and demonstrate the global significance of Indonesia’s struggle for independence. In his familiar stirring and engaged style, and based on countless conversations with witnesses from different countries, David Van Reybrouck once again presents a penetrating reconstruction of a struggle for independence.

  • Cover of Nothing
    Cover of Nothing
    Nothing
    The leading lady of the Flemish picture book
    De Morgen on ‘The Magic Garden’

    A dog asks a cat to tell it something, anything at all. But the cat can’t think of a single thing. Then the dog flips things around and challenges the cat to think of nothing. It blows a fuse in the cat’s head: there’s always something. Something or nothing, that’s the question in this fun and philosophical picture book.

     

  • Cover of Trophy
    Cover of Trophy
    Trophy
    Schoeters overwhelms the reader with a rhetorical force borrowed from thrillers and from Tolkien. ****
    De Standaard

    Hunter White lives for the big game hunt. An immensely wealthy American share trader, he goes to Africa to shoot a rhinoceros, the last of the Big Five he has yet to bag. In this page-turner Schoeters takes us into the twisted mind of a Western hunter. White is guided by a morally dubious compass as he weighs up the value of a life, whether of a person or of an animal. A compelling ode to wild nature and a sharp critique of how we relate to Africa.

  • Cover 'Shady'
    Cover 'Shady'
    Shady
    Shady is evocative and hilarious
    The Hundreds

    Shady has just one goal in life: to get attention. That’s the same, after all, as love and recognition. Both narcissistic and subject to crippling insecurity, he lives a life full of drama. ‘Shady’ is a merciless examination of our cultural and human depravities, and a real feast for the eye.

  • Cover of The Drummer of Borodino
    Cover of The Drummer of Borodino
    The Drummer of Borodino
    The peaceful angel-face of death presents every aspect of the horror of war. Great art.
    Stripspeciaalzaak

    Vincent Bosse is a young drummer in Napoleon’s army. During the campaign in Russia, angel-faced Vincent manages to save his own skin time and again. Can a man be blamed for saving himself in a thoroughly insane situation? With watercolours and a limited but carefully chosen palette, Spruyt brings the war and its horrors convincingly to life. A brilliant exploration of a universal theme.

  • Cover of The Bamboo Girl
    Cover of The Bamboo Girl

    ‘The Bamboo Girl’ is an engaging and lavishly illustrated liberal adaptation of a 10th-century Japanese fairy tale. Mattias De Leeuw conjures up the Japan of times gone by, while Edward van de Vendel’s language is poetic and concise and full of beautiful imagery. A wondrous, extraordinary and moving fairy tale.

  • Cover of Ronke's Night-Time Adventures
    Cover of Ronke's Night-Time Adventures
    Ronke's Night
    Such layering, such rich atmosphere and magnificent dialogue, this is unprecedented.
    JaapLeest on ‘Fish Don’t Melt’

    Ronke loves running. Preferably by the sea, with the wind in her hair, the sand beneath her feet and the smell of salt in her nose. But two years ago, she crashed into a toddler on the beach. Ronke is blind, that’s why. In ‘Ronke’s Night’ Jef Aerts brings the wonder of science and the power of the imagination together into a thrilling and poetic adventure.

  • Cover of Harvest
    Cover of Harvest
    Harvest
    A heart-rending, harrowing book. Rhythmical prose, with great authority. ****
    NRC

    The Romanian Alina travels to Sicily with her eleven-year-old son Lucian to work in tomato cultivation, in order to earn money that’s badly needed at home. They have high hopes, but the reality is shocking. This socially engaged page-turner is not just a book about contemporary labour migration, exploitation and oppression, it is above all a story of resilience, the power of motherhood and women’s self-reliance.

  • Cover of All the Blue
    Cover of All the Blue
    All the Blue
    A flawless novel with an atmosphere and intensity reminiscent of Graham Swift and Ian McEwan.
    Trouw

    Peter Terrin takes you with him in this tragic, compelling love story to a crucial episode in the lives of Simon and Carla in the late 1980s. Despite their difference in age, Simon and Carla throw themselves into a passionate relationship, with far-reaching consequences. ‘All the Blue' is a sensitive and sensual novel about friendship and love, and about the delicate quest for an identity of one’s own.

  • Cover of Beter Late Than Never
    Cover of Beter Late Than Never
    Better Never Than Late
    Radiant fiction. This essential book shines a light on personal experiences of migration in ways that illuminate and surprise.
    Bernardine Evaristo

    In this intriguing mosaic of ten stories Unigwe chronicles the unusual lives of a group of Nigerian immigrants who are making their way in Belgium. They all left their country in the hope of a better life, but the pain of missing Nigeria is a heavy price to pay. Readers will be moved by the realistic, recognisable characters and Unigwe’s empathetic analysis of a migrant community, the situation they fled and the disappointments in their new country.

  • Trains and Rooms
    At times poignant, at times shocking, but just as often witty enough to make you burst out laughing.
    Cutting Edge

    Annelies Verbeke interweaves more than four thousand years’ worth of literature from around the world. Inspired by better and lesser known classics from before 1900, the fifteen pieces in this collection form a kaleidoscope full of interrelated moments. ‘Trains and Rooms’ is like a hall of mirrors in which new doors keep opening up into other eras and narratives. It reinforces her reputation as the ‘Queen of the Flemish short story’.

  • Cover of 'The Girl's Heart'
    Cover of 'The Girl's Heart'
    The Girl's Heart
    You really do want to keep on looking at his illustrations
    MappaLibri

    A girl searches in vain for her father. When she spots him in the distance and walks over to him, he disappears, and then appears to be waiting for her again. But as soon as she gets closer: nothing, nobody. This mysterious book with powerful monotypes addresses a topical issue: children in search of their roots and family bonds. 

  • Cover of Blanca
    Cover of Blanca
    Blanca
    A philosophical story that will leave you speechless, with equally delicate illustrations
    Pluizuit

    A white little girl plays indoors in her safe white room and constructs a fantasy life for herself. At night she dreams of adventures in the world outside. ‘Blanca’ is a philosophical story about not being able to go out and being thrown back on your own resources, a warm ode to the imagination, dreams and desires. The sensory illustrations in soft hues show how colourful white actually is.

  • Cover 'The Beetle and the King'
    Cover 'The Beetle and the King'
    The Beetle and the King
    Wondrous. Madness in the beauty or beauty in the madness, who’s to say?
    Cutting Edge

    1899. Belgian Joseph Lippens travels to the Congo, where his father disappeared off the face of the earth several months earlier. In this scintillating debut, Thibau Vande Voorde shows us what he is capable of. With virtuoso control of his colour pencils, he conjures up the scorching heat and the beautiful abundance of Congo, as well as the contorted facial expressions of a man who becomes a victim of his own ambition.

  • Cover of 'Full of Fruit'
    Cover of 'Full of Fruit'
    Full of Fruit
    It is about the pure pleasure of looking, and then looking again
    De Morgen on ‘Whose Zoo?’

    A playful, wordless picture book with a starring role for fruits, vegetables and insects, which encourages readers to look, search and look again like never before. Geert Vervaeke plays with simple, pure forms and vibrant colours that, when combined, produce unexpected new images. She hopes that this book will encourage children to let their imagination run wild.

  • Cover - Ships & Boats
    Cover - Ships & Boats
    Ships & Boats
    Van Der Veken's line is so sharp that his world is beautifully streamlined.
    THE NEW YORKER ON ‘FABRICA GRAFICA’

    In ‘Ships & Boats’ we dive into the wonderful world of ships and shipping. The book includes a quirky selection from the technical aspects of ships, and is peppered with extraordinary facts and anecdotes. The playful illustrations in 'ligne claire' style and the extensive technical drawings make this book a graphic masterpiece for every captain in the making.

  • Cover 'Never Alone Again'
    Cover 'Never Alone Again'
    Never Alone Again
    A moving stroll through early parenthood and all the powerful emotions that go with it
    De Morgen

    Having a child marks the greatest possible change to a life and ‘Never Alone Again’ aims to illuminate not just the wonder it brings but the darker side too. Ephameron describes the multiplicity of emotions upon a child's arrival not in a straightforward story but as fragmented impressions in watercolour. This creates an extraordinarily intimate atmosphere and provides an intense reading experience.

  • Cover of I'm not Here
    Cover of I'm not Here
    I'm Not Here
    Spit set the bar high, then launched herself over it with linguistic agility and skill
    De Tijd

    Leo has been together with her boyfriend Simon for ten years. Their happiness is shattered after he comes home excitedly with a brand-new tattoo behind his ear. Simon’s sudden odd behaviour turns out to be the prelude to a psychotic episode, caused by a bipolar disorder. Spit convincingly portrays the oppressiveness, manoeuvrability and exhaustion resulting from life with a psychotic partner. 

  • Cover of Wild Woman
    Cover of Wild Woman
    Wild Woman
    His crowning achievement. Olyslaegers masterfully takes us back to the time of the Great Iconoclasm and Bruegel. *****
    De Standaard

    During the turbulent 1560s, trade is flourishing in Antwerp and Beer’s inn becomes a refuge for freethinkers and trailblazers. Ten years later, Beer, now in Amsterdam, looks back on the events that prompted him to flee his native city. ‘Wild Woman’ is a monumental novel about the longing for unity and the discovery of an inner truth, about friendship, community, faith and betrayal. With his rich, sumptuous and debauched language, Olyslaegers drags you into the dark alleyways of the 16th century.

  • Cover of Raw and As If
    Cover of Raw and As If
    Raw and As If
    ‘Raw and As If’ long clings to your skin ****
    Het Nieuwsblad

    A young woman murders the man with whom she’s been having an affair for some time. ‘Raw and As If’ is not just a gripping ‘whydunnit’ but an expressively written psychological story about the consequences of a loveless childhood. Tack’s unemotional style builds the tension and sustains the dark world and psyche of the narrator.

  • Cover of Bump
    Cover of Bump
    Bump
    A gem of a book that is as fragile and strong as her characters
    The Low Countries

    ‘Bump’ is a poetic fable. Through the triangular relationship between the central characters, it beautifully reveals how difficult it can be to integrate other people into your own desires, and how miraculous moments of connection are. Tender, brief dialogues offer glimpses into a past marked by bereavement.

  • Cover of Jam Street
    Cover of Jam Street
    Jam Street
    'Jam Street’ is chockful of beautiful observations and stylistic gems.
    Haarlems Dagblad

    ‘Jam Street’ is a poetic story about a culture clash in a deprived neighbourhood in Flanders, and it is also an ode to the beauty of the banal. The novel describes the brutal and raw reality of life in the margins, yet it is soft and tender at the same time.

  • I Have Travelled Far, But Won't Stay Long
    An atmospheric, melancholic graphic novel about growing up in the nineties *****
    NRC

    Gus is in his thirties when he returns to the village where he grew up. Cas and his friends are in their final year in school, balancing on the cusp of adulthood, and can’t wait to get away. Ward Zwart shows himself a master of low-key yet telling images and detailed facial expressions, rendered fully in pencil. It’s the poetry of small things that, more than anything, speaks loud and clear in the work of Zwart and Smits.

  • Cover of Pork Chops
    Cover of Pork Chops
    Pork Chops
    De Gryse knows how to grab a reader by the scruff of the neck
    De Morgen

    Marieke is the youngest of four sisters in a family with an absentee father and an unstable mother. She works in a care home, where she’s happiest in the kitchen. 'Pork Chops' a tragicomic tale about sticking up for yourself and about caring – but above all it’s an ode to comfort food.

     

  • Cover 'Elephant's Island'
    Cover 'Elephant's Island'

    Elephant is shipwrecked, right in the middle of the ocean. Luckily he finds an island that’s just big enough to stand on. Several rescue attempts go awry, but the island becomes a wonderful place in the process. In this jolly book, Leo Timmers swaps his beloved wheeled vehicles for boats. ‘Elephant’s Island’ is captivating proof of Timmers’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller.

  • Cover 'The Mystery of the Thinking Rabbit'
    Cover 'The Mystery of the Thinking Rabbit'
    The Mystery of the Thinking Rabbit
    Astonishing illustration
    De Morgen

    This collection of four short stories for children by renowned Brazilian author Clarice Lispector is bursting with quirkiness and amusing ideas. And who better to illustrate these remarkable tales than Gerda Dendooven? In Dendooven’s work it’s not just the people whose faces are full of personality – she can seemingly effortlessly imbue a chicken or a rabbit with an inner world. Her utterly unique style complements Lispector’s like no other.

     

  • Cover 'The Bike Book'
    Cover 'The Bike Book'
    The Bike Book
    Charming and written with great passion. The love of language is palpable throughout.
    NRC

    In ‘The Bike Book’ duo Paul de Moor and Wendy Panders invite you to take a seat on their tandem for a wild ride, showing you everything that’s beautiful about bikes along the way. With his confident language, De Moor effortlessly sweeps you up in his enthusiasm. He leaves nothing out, so you can’t help but agree with the book’s subtitle: everything about the best invention ever.

  • Cover 'Tourmaline'
    Cover 'Tourmaline'
    Tourmaline
    Ramos’s playful, lovely art stands strongly on its own
    The New York Times on ‘Sonia Delaunay: A Life of Color’

    A beautiful princess called Tourmaline is imprisoned in a tall tower. Only the bravest knight of all can free her. Knight after knight is sure that he’s the bravest, but they all fail in their quest. Luckily there’s one fearless knight who doesn’t let anything daunt him. Or should that be: daunt her? A gentle, funny and atmospheric plea for more openness and less prejudice.

  • Cover 'Assholes'
    Cover 'Assholes'
    Assholes
    Shameless locker-room banter, portrayed with impressive visual style
    Cutting Edge

    Simon Kennedy and Chuck Atkins are well-known TV presenters. In the course of an 18-hole round of golf, we get to know them as sexist, racist jocks who are utterly repellent in every way. Bram Algoed’s minimalist illustrations pare this portrait of toxic masculinity down to the essence. ‘Assholes’ is outrageous, repulsive, disturbing and downright hilarious.

  • Cover of Henry
    Cover of Henry
    Henry
    Modest and endearing yet grandiose and awe-inspiring
    Pluizuit on ‘Pigeon’

    Henry has a beautiful view of nature from his window, but his room is bleak and bare. Luckily he knows how to fix this: he’ll bring some of that beauty inside. In ‘Henry’, the acclaimed illustrator duo Jacques & Lise play with concepts like ‘empty’ and ‘full’, and the pages feature real peepholes. A beautifully designed book. 

  • Cover of Heroes
    Cover of Heroes

    The ancient Greeks didn’t have it easy. Their country seemed to be awash with magical creatures, usually with malign intentions. And they also had to fear the wrath of the gods. This book recounts all the well-known Greek myths and legends in a modern and humorous way.

  • Tatave!
    A meticulously documented and beautifully illustrated biography of a fascinating figure
    Mappa Libri

    Paul-Gustave van Hecke (1887-1967) was a man of many talents. Fifty years after his passing, Manu van der Aa brings Tatave to life again, and with him half a century of Belgian art history. 

  • Cover of Daughter of Decolonisation
    Cover of Daughter of Decolonisation
    Daughter of Decolonisation
    This book is far from a dry account of the facts. This historical work is accessible to a general readership.
    De Standaard

    Nadia Nsayi, born in Kinshasa, but raised by adoptive parents in a provincial town in Flanders after the death of her birth father, starts doing genealogical research into her roots while at university. She discovers that her family history is closely entwined with the history of Belgium and the Congo. Apart from looking at her own development and growing awareness, Nsayi calls for decolonisation via an official apology for the colonial injustices and for decolonisation as restoration.

  • Cover of The Book of Daniel
    Cover of The Book of Daniel
    The Book of Daniel
    A book you can’t put down and that sends shivers down your spine.
    De Morgen

    Found among the rubble of a burnt-down old farm is the lifeless body of its owner, 84-year-old farmer Daniel. Farmer Daniel is the uncle of writer and journalist Chris De Stoop. In his familiar sober style, Chris De Stoop registers all the different aspect of this case and ends up creating a devastating literary drama.

  • Cover 'My Comrade, Che Guevara'
    Cover 'My Comrade, Che Guevara'
    My Comrade, Che Guevara
    Four books for the price of one: an adventurous travelogue, a suspenseful whodunit, a biography and a history book
    Gazet van Antwerpen

    Hilde Baele met Mzee Jerôme Sebasoni, a gardener, in Kigali, Rwanda. He told her his incredible life story. He claimed to have fought against the Belgians and to have been a close comrade of Che Guevara’s in the struggle to oust the Congolese dictator Mobutu. Baele roped in her illustrator friend Jeroen Janssen to help her get to the bottom of Che's guide's claims. All the powerful graphic material in this impressive book was sketched and painted on the spot by Janssen. This is a remarkable testament to an extraordinary life story.

  • Cover of Colombe
    Cover of Colombe
    Colombe
    Beautifully written debut*****
    Boeklovers

    A tender novel capturing the soberness of rural life, the daily routine and the things that are unspoken. About a subtly developing love triangle, with eye for nuance and the complexity of the multifaceted love between the characters.

  • Cover 'A Rope in the Air'
    Cover 'A Rope in the Air'
    A Rope in the Air
    De Leeuw never fails to enchant us
    Pluizuit

    A dangling rope takes us on a chase through a city in this scintillating picture book without words. It is grabbed in turn by a water ballerina, a super hero, a window cleaner, a monkey in the zoo and a bandit on the run. Where does that rope come from? In this cheerful story, Mattias De Leeuw exploits the innate flamboyance of his drawing style.

  • Cover 'The Blues Against the Reds'
    Cover 'The Blues Against the Reds'
    The Blues Against the Reds
    Leroy has had the time of his life, and thus so do we.
    De Morgen on ‘Suzy Doozy’

    Tomorrow morning Bluebeard and his brave knights will make mincemeat of Redfang and his men. Redfang is hatching the same plan. But as the two warring bands advance towards each other, they discover that bloodshed can wait. Game on! Restricting himself to using only a four-colour ballpoint pen, Benjamin Leroy has created a high-spirited adventure in four colours.

  • Cover of Lightning Stone
    Cover of Lightning Stone
    Lightning Stone
    A fascinating and intense homage to his father
    Trouw

    In ‘Lightning Stone’ Johan de Boose takes the reader on a journey across the US. With his warm, affectionate pen de Boose evokes a vivid world, cleverly alternating between contemplative-philosophical and familiar, as well as striking the occasional humorous note.

  • Cover of All Is Safe Here
    Cover of All Is Safe Here
    All Is Safe Here
    A raw, physical account of grief and goodbyes****
    HUMO

    A beautifully written debut about loss and (step) motherhood. With immense compassion, Van Offel draws psychological portraits that cannot be viewed independently from identity politics and the wider political situation in Israel.

  • Cover of The Ascent
    Cover of The Ascent
    The Ascent
    A sparkling docudrama
    HUMO

    A captivating journey through a turbulent century, in which Hertmans once again demonstrates his mastery at interweaving fiction and nonfiction.

  • Cover of MARX
    Cover of MARX
    MARX
    The sharpest political theatre I’ve seen for a long time.
    Klara

    In the theatre monologue ‘MARX’, the elderly philosopher appears onstage once more. What has he been proven right about, and which things did he get wrong? The result is sparkling theatre that is thought-provoking but also funny. A combative and critical defence of freedom and human dignity.

  • Cover of The Wetsuitman
    Cover of The Wetsuitman
    The Wetsuitman
    An intelligent play about the complexity of identity
    De Standaard

    2015. What at first looks like an oil slick close to the cliffs turns out to be a wetsuit. Bones are sticking out of the flippers. Even with the help of the police, nobody is able to identify the corpse. Kicking off like a Scandinavian crime story, ‘The Wetsuitman’ leads from pastiche to a social drama in the ‘jungle’, the refugee camp in Calais.

  • Cover of Deerskin
    Cover of Deerskin
    Deerskin
    A view of the world that is as warm-hearted as it is horrifying
    Jury Toneelschrijfprijs

    A pregnant woman fantasizes about the future life of her unborn daughter. One thing is certain: that future will be far from unproblematic. The abstract and poetic ‘Deerskin’ invites us to think about a future in which humans are no longer at the controls.