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Flanders Literature helps publishers and festival organisers find that one particular title or author that is the perfect fit for their list or audience. So take a good look around, we present a selection of the finest literature from Flanders. If you like what you see, please get in touch with us for further information.

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  • Cover of the play
    Cover of the play
    Swans
    'Swans' is a musical and atmospheric tale about those mysterious but oh so beautiful animals: swans.
    CC De Adelberg

    ‘Swans’ is a moving and imaginative story about daring to dream big and taking the plunge to go look for adventure. And of course it’s a show full of swans. The play is performed by a single actor or actress with musical accompaniment from a string section made up of nine swans.

  • Cover 'Idulfania'
    Cover 'Idulfania'
    Idulfania
    Extremely funny, sometimes touching and of course exceptionally well-drawn.
    9e kunst

    Brecht Evens brilliantly subverts the conventions of the fairy-tale and fantasy genres in ‘Idulfania’. Populated by trolls, giants, kings, witches and dwarves, Idulfania is a land where high hopes tend to be quickly and painfully dashed. Dark humour at its best.

  • Cover 'The Whale Library'
    Cover 'The Whale Library'
    The Whale Library
    A tale of exceptional beauty. Moving, tender, thoughtful and unique
    Ligne Claire

    A postman at sea befriends an enormous, ancient whale which carries an entire library inside her belly. When two extremely talented professionals join forces, the result is bound to be impressive. Zidrou’s poetic and playful fable about the importance of inspiring stories is lifted to an even higher level by Judith Vanistendael, whose gorgeous paintings depict the characters and their surroundings with great love and tenderness. 

  • Cover 'Miracle'
    Cover 'Miracle'
    Miracle
    One of her best books
    JaapLeest

    Ruben’s grandfather Emiel is eighty-five and becoming more and more forgetful. Clearing out is dead wife's things triggers quite a few half-memories in him. Marita de Sterck tells a story of memory and love, and the pain caused, and eased, by both. 

  • Cover 'Back-and-Forth'
    Cover 'Back-and-Forth'
    Back-and-Forth
    A multi-layered and dynamic adventure, full of surprises and ingenuity
    Ricochet Jeunes

    A boy writes a letter to a girl. But just as he’s about to post the letter, a sudden gust of wind takes off with it. At the end of the book, the girl herself is also writing a letter. She gives it to her pigeon, which traverses the book in the opposite direction: from back to front. And so the last page becomes the first. 

  • Cover 'What's In That Hat?'
    Cover 'What's In That Hat?'
    What’s In That Hat?
    Shows infinite creativity
    MAPPALIBRI ON 'ROUND THE BLOCK'

    In the playful numbers book ‘What’s In That Hat?’, celebrated illustrator Judith Vanistendael joins forces with typesetter Peter De Roy. The two use basic wooden blocks designed to create woodcuts and Vanistendael conjures up animals in coloured pencil. The end result is a seemingly simple, but ingenious little book. 

  • What Only We Know
    What Only We Know
    What Only We Know
    Beautiful! It’s hard not to be moved by the tender bond between brother and sister.
    Het Parool

    Nour is seven and incurably ill. But she keeps smiling and playing, whenever possible. While her parents are completely focused on her illness, the girl is growing closer to her older brother. He tells her stories to try and take her mind off the pain. Brother and sister imagine a universe of their own in which they are safe and connected. An ode to imagination, written in pared down language, somewhere between poetry and prose.

  • Little Mouse’s Big Adventure
    Little Mouse’s Big Adventure
    Little Mouse’s Big Adventure
    Inventive, touching and very skilfully made
    De Morgen on Gerda De Preter’s work

    Little Mouse is running through the woods, trying to find granddad. Owl seems to know where granddad is and offers Little Mouse pride of place at his table. But Little Mouse soon discovers that Owl has other plans. ‘Little Mouse’s Big Adventure’ is a thrilling adventure and a gripping, heart-warming and humorous story to read to children. 

  • A Revolver Shot
    A Revolver Shot
    A Revolver Shot
    Loveling gives us an uncompromising, heart-rending glimpse into the emotions of someone who repeatedly gets the short end of the stick in life.
    Annelies Verbeke

    Marie and her sister Georgine, who is eleven years younger, live together in the family home after the death of their parents. Both sisters fall in love with their neighbour Luc Hancq, but he strings them along, leading to his murder and Marie's madness. In this brilliantly structured book, with its virtuoso use of perspective, Loveling takes the reader on a harrowing journey through the protagonist’s psyche. 

  • Desire Lines
    A heart-rending, silent scream, a struggle with the giants known as hurt and loss and an attempt to say the unsayable.
    Knack

    After seven years Mari is still in deep mourning for Tully, her deafblind sister for whom she was like a mother. She decides to leave her husband Felix at home and sets off on a walk towards the sea, in search of a new beginning. During her journey, she meets some remarkable people, who encourage her to formulate profound insights into mourning, relationships with others and the inadequacy of language. 

     

  • Silence is My Mother Tongue
    Silence is My Mother Tongue
    Silence is My Mother Tongue
    Stunning. A splendid, compulsive reading experience
    Maaza Mengiste

    The young, headstrong Saba wants to go to school, whereas her brother Hagos is unable to speak, read and write. The siblings, who have an extremely close bond, both refuse to conform to the roles imposed on them by gender and society. A compelling, vivid novel about the everyday challenges, feelings, intimacy, hopes and fears of refugees in an East-African camp.

  • Cover 'Later When I'm Big'
    Cover 'Later When I'm Big'
    Later When I’m Big
    What verve, what movement
    JURY OF THE SILVER AND GOLD PAINT BRUSHES ON ‘CIRCUS NIGHT’

    A little girl goes swimming with her mother and dreams about all the things she’ll dare to do when she’s bigger. She makes wild plans and dreams big, but secretly she’s glad she can be small for a while yet. ‘Later When I’m Big’ is a poetic book in which reality and fantasy overlap.

  • Cover 'The Sun'
    Cover 'The Sun'
    The Sun
    A work of art full of tiny and often funny details
    Het Laatste Nieuws

    Peter Goes delves into the science and myths surrounding the most important star in our galaxy. In beautifully composed spreads that brim with ingenious details, he throws light on the knowledge and convictions of people including the ancient Greeks, the Aztecs and the inhabitants of the Indus Valley, and describes the scientific developments of more recent times. ‘The Sun’ is a new highpoint in Goes’ oeuvre.

  • Cover 'A Sea of Love'
    Cover 'A Sea of Love'
    A Sea of Love
    This book is one great incandescent proof of love.
    Edward van de Vendel

    Penguin crosses the ocean to the house of his friend Bear. He wants to tell him a big secret, so big that it will change everything: he’s in love with Bear. Even the most hard-hearted of readers will be captivated by this love story for its humour and the playful, exceptional use of colour. ‘A Sea of Love’ shows that love is love, no matter who you are.

  • Wake
    Wake
    Wake
    This plea for freedom and imagination deserves attentive readers
    Poëziekrant

    For Kurt De Boodt poetry is word art. He sees every collection as a new exploration. His poems are especially loved by readers who love the richness of the Dutch language and the sounds it can evoke, readers who know to embrace the language plays the poet enfolds in every poem.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    April
    A glimpse into the backrooms of diplomacy, the role of women and the subtly shifting power relations.
    De Standaard

    In Willem de Wolf’s theatre text ‘April’, the American ambassador April Glaspie, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and a news anchor revisit events. The subject of this fictitious conversation is that other, historical conversation in the summer of 1990 that nobody wants to talk about.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    We take it from here
    Complex, intriguing, clever, witty, poignant, musical and bitter. In a word, highly recommended.
    De Correspondent

    ’We take it from here’ starts off as a list of things that the actors and characters feel guilty about, ranging from childhood memories, like stealing a Barbie doll, to existential questions about their relationships, the ways in which they have wronged the people they love, or their complicity in current and universal problems such as the refugee crisis.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    The Shell Trial
    Nuyens and De Wit explain in exquisite detail that the climate crisis is primarily a crisis of responsibility at this moment in time.
    NRC

    In ‘The Shell Trial’ all the different voices can be heard in five monologues: the oil giant’s CEO, the worried citizen, a distraught consumer, the government and the future generations that recently organised a worldwide protest because not enough is being done to tackle the climate crisis.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    Head-on
    This verbal joust remains captivating throughout.
    De Standaard

    Head-on’ is a tragic story with comedic touches that allow playwright Jan Sobrie to keep things light-hearted as the conflict between the two sisters intensifies and culminates in a literal and figurative head-on collision with serious consequences.

  • The Channel
    Unconventional music theatre that boldly opts for simplicity and humour to make a powerful and incisive statement about living with hope in a time of escalating despair.
    Knack

    The lives of the two main characters in ‘The Channel’ unexpectedly become intertwined. On one side of the Channel, on Calais beach, a refugee is getting ready to make the crossing in search of a new beginning. Across the water, on the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, trans woman Margaret is about to hurl herself into the sea to end it all. Eventually, their paths cross and life takes an unpredictable turn. This compelling music theatre libretto puts a face to the marginalisation of ‘the other’.

  • Cover of the book
    Cover of the book
    Salam
    Salam impresses with this abundance of ideas, artistry and uncomfortable truths. Luckily, the surprisingly heart-warming conclusion calms the overwhelmed spirit down again.
    Trouw

    At a time of worldwide religious conflict between Islam, Judaism and Christendom, ‘Salam’ takes you back to the beginning: the story of Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael. ‘Salam’ is a theatre text about a father who struggles to show love and two brothers who are growing further and further apart because they both want to be recognised as heir. El Azzouzi opts to represent this clash as a humorous and human story about love, jealousy and hurt.

  • Cover 'The Very Best Invention in the Whole Wide World'
    Cover 'The Very Best Invention in the Whole Wide World'
    The Very Best Invention in the Whole Wide World
    Unique visual language
    Cutting Edge on ‘Adrift’

    Lola is clever. Very clever. She solves every single problem with her inventions. But there’s one problem she doesn’t have a solution for: her little brother Lander seems sad. Why doesn’t he want to play with her? In her colourful drawings, Debroey shows that knowledge can be for everyone and that you’ve always got something to learn, no matter how clever you are.

  • Minyan
    Personal, genuinely interested and unbiased. No wonder that the people she speaks to are prepared to open up to her.
    Zin Magazine

    The Orthodox-Jewish community continues to capture the imagination. In ‘Minyan’, Margot Vanderstraeten gives the reader a glimpse into this world by interviewing several prominent figures. As she reports on her Hasidic neighbours, who live so close yet whose lives are so different, her tone is sometimes serious, sometimes light-hearted, but always genuinely involved.

  • Skin
    An engaging, intimate and expressive portrait of two women, with exciting and vivid drawings
    9e kunst

    This extraordinary graphic novel tells the story of two women at a crossroads in their lives. Rita, a middle-aged woman who has just got divorced, challenges herself by becoming a nude model in drawing classes given by Esther. Vulnerability and courage, looking and being looked at, daring to be naked and closeness are all central themes.

  • Cover 'The Blind'
    Cover 'The Blind'
    The Blind
    Maarten De Saeger confirms his status as a top talent.
    Cutting Edge on ‘The Drifter’

    A group of blind people takes a daytrip into the woods. They are led by an older, sighted guide. When he suddenly turns out to have vanished, the group tries to pass the time, but they edge closer and closer to panic. Based on a play by Belgium’s only winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Maurice Maeterlinck, ‘The Blind’ is an intriguing drama and an intense visual experience.

  • Cape Ursus
    Bontenakel proves that he is a superb storyteller ****
    De Standaard

    A natural disaster is destroying Cape Ursus, a remote island in the middle of the North-Atlantic. The small community that lives there in the late nineteenth century is descended from castaways and has to fend for itself. Young teacher Ellie dreams of leaving the island, but her mother’s dementia is stopping her. And then she discovers someone else with serious plans to leave the island. 

  • 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

    Late nineteenth century: Léonie Osterrieth organizes salons in her grand townhouse. She has a soft spot for explorers and wants to help Adrien de Gerlache to become the first human being to overwinter on the South Pole. Thanks to her, the Belgica sets sail from the port of Antwerp. Drawing on the correspondence between Léonie and her entourage, Janzing reconstructs the experiences of captain and crew.

  • 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

    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
    A delicate, enchanting narrative, clear in words and pictures.
    De Morgen

    ‘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
    Yet more evidence of Jef Aerts’ flair for language; some of Ronke’s perceptions are pure poetry.
    MappaLibri

    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.