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Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2016

Up To Date

Christophe Van Gerrewey

A man wakes up in a house belonging to friends who have gone on holiday. Accompanied by their cat, he recalls the previous summer, when a woman was still with him. He decides to write to her to bring her up to date with recent developments. He remembers the places they stayed, the things they said to each other, the secrets they shared. But gradually the tables are turned: the absent lover increasingly speaks for herself, until her voice displaces his own and exposes all his faults.

And then there is the cat, still recovering from the flea infestation of last year, and probably the real protagonist in the novel, or at least the only living creature the narrator is able to make contact with.

Van Gerrewey proves once again that the intangible nature of love is still the ever-reliable fuel of literature
De Morgen

Is this a letter of complaint from a jilted lover, an exhibitionist confession to the world, or a scrupulous self-examination?

‘Up To Date’ is an astute and witty account of a past relationship that continues to reverberate, a tragicomic attempt to grasp the practical difficulties and conflicting desires of modern love. Can we hope to understand love if we don’t even understand ourselves?

This gifted stylist effortlessly alternates between lyrical declarations of love and hatred and caustic social and literary criticism
NRC Lux