Skip to main content
Humorous and brave

My Father Says That We Save Lives

Do Van Ranst

The nameless fifteen-year-old protagonist lives with her parents 'at the end of the world': on a hairpin bend that ends on an unfinished bridge. Drivers are regularly caught unawares by the bend in the road, and crash into the front of the house, where they are nursed back to health. As general apathy descends on the place, young Zack literally drives into the protagonist’s life. A cautious first advance confuses her, though, as she does not want to damage her relationship with her lesbian friend Sue. Do Van Ranst explores his character’s boundaries with sensitivity and with a high degree of empathy.

A sultry atmosphere, similar to the compelling work of Bart Moeyaert

Fantasy and reality flow seamlessly together in this gripping novel, plunging the reader into an almost surrealistic world. Van Ranst combines understated, poetic language with a powerful eloquence, where a great deal is left hidden between the lines, and very little is as it appears. The book’s cinematic style increases the narrative pace, and it is no surprise that it was adapted for the screen in 2014.

An extraordinary and intriguing setting
De Morgen
'Touching honesty and sensitivity'
Jesper Tolstrup, director and editor at Turbine Forlaget, Denmark

''My Father Says That We Save Lives' is a humorous and brave novel about a young girl’s experiences with the pain and insecurities that are inevitably connected to being a teenager. Do Van Ranst has created a tragicomic story that takes place where nothing happens and everything stops.

We are very proud to be the Danish publisher of this laconic and original fable. It was very well received in Denmark, and both the book and the author have been acknowledged for the brutal directness of the story, which is filled with thoughtful expressions and combined with a remarkable depth of reflection in this presentation of a young person on their way into adulthood. While trying to find her place in the world, the nameless narrator tells of her first sexual experience and her doubts with touching honesty and sensitivity.

Before publishing 'My Father Says That We Save Lives', we received several recommendations of this title as well as the author in general from our wide network of European publishers.'