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Original and provocative, sometimes absurd


Annelies Verbeke

This ‘novel-in-stories’ displays how people often believe they know more than they actually do. They apply labels or draw premature conclusions and, by doing so, cause others to suffer. Alternatively, they are left behind – all alone – with assumptions that are valid. Annelies Verbeke has an eye for embarrassing situations and daily absurdities that affect those who live close to us, or the person lodged within ourselves.

A lady on a mission and a true diva of short stories
De Morgen

In the story ‘The Right’, Didier Van Ranst’s suspicions about his cleaning lady cause him to lose his grip on reality. In ‘Nearby’, love and jealousy both whisper their own truths to Lady LaToya. In ‘Christmas’, the 17-year-old Nicolette De Puyt is convinced a lady in a nursing home for the elderly needs her help.

In this collection of fifteen stories, Verbeke plays a beautiful game with fiction and reality, with believing and exposing. The characters’ assumptions are depicted so realistically and convincingly that readers find themselves going along with them too. But once confronted with reality, they have to admit they were carried away by their own assumptions. Verbeke is the indisputable queen of short story collections, and that is no assumption.

A masterly collection of stories, highly intelligent and hugely comical *****
De Standaard