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Fiction

Read more about this genre in the essay A typically Flemish novel, or scroll through our selection of the finest fiction from Flanders.

trans­lated into
  • Cover Misery Loves Company. A Life In Stories
    Cover Misery Loves Company. A Life In Stories
    Misery Loves Company. A Life In Stories
    Incredible to see how much beauty someone can produce in half a century
    De Telegraaf

    Hugo Claus is the internationally acclaimed author of dozens of plays, novels and collections of poetry. But over the course of 50 years he also wrote many short stories. A half-century filled with grotesque nightmares and charming scenes of love and loss, with mysterious and comical characters populating Claus’ characteristic bitter-sweet world.

  • Cover Bread
    Cover Bread
    Bread
    Haunting. With short chapters, Elvis Peeters keeps the reader in a stranglehold.
    Cutting Edge

    A boy grows up in a village where war threatens. Then, the supermarket at which the boy works is bombed into the ground. Leaving is now the only option. In confident, crystal-clear language, ‘Bread’ tells the gripping, poetic coming-of-age story of a boy who is not given the chance to enjoy his youth.

  • Cover Who Was the Hat Maker?
    Cover Who Was the Hat Maker?
    Who Was the Hatter?
    A marvel of penmanship *****
    De Volkskrant

    Twelve years after they had a short-lived but passionate relationship, the reserved Hermine and the tormented, suicidal writer Didier, drive to a conference in Vienna together. In this autobiographical love tragedy, Zvonik investigates with a delicate pen and psychological finesse to what extent it is possible to love someone, while at the same time keeping your distance.

  • Cover North
    Cover North
    North
    Wild, dark, romantic and almost addictively well-written ****
    Focus Knack

    ‘North’ is a carefully crafted and addictively well-written debut novel about ‘indecision in the choice’: the choice between two men, between art and life, between Vancouver and the harsh life in the north, and between the musical styles that are entwined with each location.

  • Beauty Will Rage Within Me Until the Day I Die
    A sardonic roller coaster
    Knack

    In the world of ‘Beauty will rage within me until the day I die’, everything is returned to ashes by warfare. Everything, except for the memory of what once was humanity and the sense of humor that Hazim Kamaledin uses to describe the fate of his deceased doppelgänger.

  • Cover - Een huis voor Harry
    Cover - Een huis voor Harry
    Congo Blues
    A masterful conjurer of tone and mood ****1/2
    De Morgen

    Morgan is a jazz pianist from Brussels, with Congolese roots. He has banished the images of his childhood in the tropics from his memories… Until an out-of-the-blue encounter changes his life, that is. This is a novel about ‘half-castes’, and how the Belgian colonizer used to treat these mixed race children, separating them forever from their biological family.

  • Cover Cleansing
    Cover Cleansing
    Cleansing
    Lanoye leaves no stone unturned in a ruthless novel
    De Morgen

    Gideon Rottier is a loner with a speech impediment and an unusual job. His life takes a different turn when Youssef, a refugee, becomes his new colleague. After an awkward start, they become best friends. But when Youssef disappears and leaves Gideon to look after his wife and children, things take an ugly turn.

  • Cover Cocaine
    Cutting Edge Award
    Cover Cocaine
    Cutting Edge Award
    Cocaine
    Irresistibly funny
    Noordhollands Dagblad

    'Cocaine' is a no-holds-barred celebration of the seemingly limitless possibilities of the human imagination. It is a literary rollercoaster ride in the very best Russian tradition.

  • Cover - Shadow Zone
    Hercule Poirot Prize
    Cover - Shadow Zone
    Hercule Poirot Prize
    Shadow Zone
    A glittering, psychologically-charged firework! *****
    Hebban

    Kate works as a nurse in a psychiatric clinic for VIPs in London. Her life turns into a living hell when it turns out that a tweet with confidential information about a patient has been sent out into the world from her account. She loses her job and is hounded by the paparazzi. To make matters worse, there is someone else who’s got it in for her. A wonderfully-written, triumphant crime novel with strong characterisations, in which the various plot threads are cleverly interwoven.

  • Cover Mazel Tov
    Cover Mazel Tov
    Mazel tov
    A must-read for everyone *****
    De Standaard

    'Mazel tov' is a compelling, thought-provoking story about children growing up in a Modern Orthodox sect, as seen through the eyes of a young woman who is not Jewish. It gives a unique glimpse of the unfamiliar world for both sides.

  • cover The People Healer
    ECI Prize
    cover The People Healer
    ECI Prize
    The People Healer
    Crystal clear literary magic *****
    De Volkskrant

    ‘The People Healer’ is a novel about the invisible forces that guide people’s lives, and about the immutability of those forces. The First World War, Belgian colonialism in the Congo, and the present day are all woven into the fabric of the story. The storylines Koen Peeters sketches eventually converge in a quest to fulfil a longing that every person feels: to discover oneself and to give meaning to one’s own life.

  • Cover Hallelujah
    Cover Hallelujah
    Hallelujah
    Bizarre, mysterious, incredibly powerful
    Trouw

    ‘Hallelujah’ is a feverish, yet also humorous collection about inevitable loss and the temptation of the clean slate.

  • Cover Grimly Good
    Cover Grimly Good

    Following the adaptation and sanitisation of fairy stories by the Brothers Grimm, Disney and others, writers are increasingly restoring these tales to their original, complex and sometimes dark and creepy forms. Marita de Sterck is the unbeatable master.

  • Cover Billie & Seb
    Cover Billie & Seb
    Billie & Seb
    His sentences are balanced and rhythmic, his language shines. *****
    Haarlems Dagblad

    Seb and Billie are seventeen and are both a little strange. Thanks to their friendship, the quiet Seb blossoms and opens up. But then Billie has an accident on a trampoline and ends up in a coma. Seb stops going to school and shuts himself away inside his room and inside himself. His despairing parents give him an airsoft gun for Christmas.

  • Cover Audrey & Anne
    Cover Audrey & Anne
    Audrey & Anne
    Fresh, alluring and powerful
    Flanders Today

    In her historical novel, which is based on actual events, Janzing shines the spotlight on the childhoods of two of the greatest icons of the 20th century: Audrey Hepburn and Anne Frank. Two world-famous girls born in the same year, connected by one devastating war.

  • Cover Scorpio
    Cover Scorpio
    Scorpio
    Once again, a fantastic thriller that you want to read in one sitting.
    Het Nieuwsblad

    After a weekend away with the family, 36 year old Gaelle wakes up in the secure wing of a psychiatric hospital in Berlin, Germany. The police suspect her of attempting to murder her son. She manages to escape and is determined to uncover the truth.

  • Cover The House of Salmon
    Cover The House of Salmon
    The House of Salmon
    Believable and original, honest and authentic.
    Tzum

    ‘The House of Salmon’ is a novel about people living within a tradition who are tempted to turn this tradition into an absolute law.

  • Cover She Alone
    Cover She Alone
    She Alone
    Strong meat, but served in a very digestible form
    Humo

    ‘She Alone’ is a story of a love between Western Europe and Islam, and a confrontation between and a merging of Europe and Islamic values, as well as a dystopic warning for Europe, and its growing fear of everything that is different.

  • Cover Something Inside Us Bowed Low
    Cover Something Inside Us Bowed Low
    Something Inside Us Bowed Low
    Breathtakingly beautiful *****
    De Standaard

    Yuji Kohara is a molecular biologist who is researching the roundworm, C. elegans. One evening he accidentally gets off the metro a stop early. His absentmindedness sets him on the trail of an old flame. What follows is a long night, a restless week and a strange rest of the year.

  • Cover Will
    Fintro Prize
    Cover Will
    Fintro Prize
    WILL
    A razor-sharp book about the cowardice we call neutrality *****
    De Standaard

    Wilfried Wils is an auxiliary policeman in Antwerp at the start of the Second World War. The city is in the grip of violence and distrust. Wilfried does what he can for himself, avoiding paths that are too slippery.

  • Cover The Convert
    Cover The Convert
    The Convert
    A crucial book that will stir hearts and minds ****
    De Standaard

    Stefan Hertmans based the story of ‘The Convert’ on historical facts, and he brings the Middle Ages to life with immense imagination and stylistic ingenuity. This is the story of three religions and a world going through massive change, a story of hope, love and hatred, a novel about a woman who can be certain of one thing: at home the death penalty awaits.

  • Cover Yucca
    Cover Yucca
    Yucca
    Brilliant. A moving tribute to the subconscious
    Vrij Nederland

    ‘Yucca’ is not a classic thriller with a dénouement. The pieces of the puzzle never all fall in the right place, but seek an answer to the question how to deal with threatening violence and loss.

  • Cover The Melting
    Cover The Melting
    The Melting
    A debut that you wish every writer would write: surprising, imaginative and merciless *****
    De Standaard

    Eva, in her late twenties, travels back to her native village with a big block of ice in her car. She has been invited to a viewing of a new milking parlour at a dairy farm where her childhood friend Pim still lives, an occasion that will also serve to commemorate the death of his older brother, who drowned as a young man. Slowly it becomes clear she returned to her village to take revenge for what happened to her as a child...

  • Cover Hair
    Cover Hair
    Hair
    Beautiful in its simplicity, honesty and humanity
    De Leesfabriek

    On their way home from a holiday on the Costa Brava, Suzanne, Catherine and Hanna watch as their mother is mowed down by lorry on the shoulder of a French motorway. From now on, father Ivo will do his best to raise their three daughters, but without great success.

  • Cover Life Seen from Below
    Cover Life Seen from Below
    Life Seen from Below
    Packed with a Verhulstian wealth of poetry and politics
    Humo

    Liliya Dimova is the art-loving merry widow of an aggrieved Bulgarian writer. Her final wish in life is to correct the literary history of communism and wipe out every word written by Soviet regime puppet Mikhail Sholokhov by using the pages of his book as toilet paper.

    For love of her late husband, and for all the other forgotten people who paid such a high price for their freedom of expression.

  • Cover The Very Tired Man
    Cover The Very Tired Man
    The Very Tired Man and the Woman who Passionately Loved Bonsai
    Pure beauty
    De Wereld Draait Door

    A woman reads a wanted ad in the newspaper one day: “man seeks woman to die for”. When she rings the number, she hears someone sigh. She’s never heard such a beautiful sigh before.
    In this picture book for adults, Kaatje Vermeire’s pictures and Peter Verhelst’s words each tell a story of their own. The reader combines the two, creating an artwork on every page.

  • Cover Blindly
    Cover Blindly
    Blindly
    A wonderful style, with gems of sentences
    Metro

    A summer Friday on the coast. Jonas is in an apartment with a view of the sea. He sits facing the door, waiting, a pistol in his lap. 'Blindly' is a humane, poignant tale of beauty and decay, deeds and dreams, the chosen and the damned.

  • Cover The Antelope Knife
    Cover The Antelope Knife
    Find Me Gone
    An exquisite entry into the literary arena
    De Volkskrant

    Belgium in the 1990s. Hannah and Sophie are twelve and inseparable, the way only twelve-year-old girls can be. But when Hannah falls for the charismatic Damiaan their friendship changes. Then, after a late-night party in the village, Sophie fails to come home.

  • Cover Monkey Business
    Cover Monkey Business
    Monkey Business
    Hurtles along like a high-speed train and has you in its grip right from page one
    De Leeswolf

    This novel spans the last eight hours in the life of Haruki, a Japanese macaque who ‘lives’ in a neurophysiology laboratory. The story is told from the perspective of Haruki himself, as he reflects on virtually every aspect of being an experimental animal, while awaiting ‘his last major experiment’ – being put down.

  • Cover Cinderella
    Cover Cinderella
    Cinderella
    So confusing, intriguing, dark and horrifying that you want to devour every single page *****
    Cutting Edge

    'Cinderella' is a semi-autobiographical novel about the son of a prostitute who opens a brothel and becomes his mother’s pimp. It is a grand novel, written in raw prose, tackling the tribulations of running a brothel and the inescapable relationship between mother and child. It is a refreshing combination of filth and the sublime, of tragedy and comedy.

  • Cover What Only We Hear
    Cover What Only We Hear
    What Only We Hear
    A book that deserves to be read by many
    Cutting Edge

    ‘What only we hear’ sketches the deeply human ups and downs of life in a large modern city. De Coster subtly intertwines the fates of her characters, with her typical stylistic bravura and humour.

  • Cover Wanderland
    Cover Wanderland
    Wanderland
    Gronda writes clear prose, melancholy, but seasoned with a slight irony that alleviates the weight
    Haarlems Dagblad

    Three days before a major exhibition of his paintings in Venice Igor Nast receives a call from his half-brother, summoning him to Switzerland to his father's deathbed. A father of whom he cherishes not a single memory.

  • Cover Portrait of an Unknown Girl
    Cover Portrait of an Unknown Girl
    Portrait of an Unknown Girl
    Skorobogatov carries you off and bewitches you with his lovely language ****
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Portrait of an Unknown Girl’ is not only a powerful story of the beauty and tragedy of first love, but also an uncompromising portrait of an inhumane epoch and an oppressive regime that breaks people, punishes innocence and integrity and ruins lives.

  • Cover Even Birds Fall
    Cover Even Birds Fall
    Even Birds Fall
    Daem's stories exude daring and the urge to experiment. ****
    Cutting Edge

    This book is Daem’s disconcerting, funny and idiosyncratic debut. Despite the often dark subjects – he does not fight shy of death – Daem invariably allows a gleam of hope to show through in his stories. He carries the reader along with his excellent sense of control and structure, working out the dramatic storyline to the last detail.

  • Cover Silent Ground
    Cover Silent Ground
    Silent Ground
    Excellent, excellent, excellent!
    Josh Pachter

    Glasgow, 1983. One stormy November night, six-year-old Rosie Thompson disappears from the bedroom she shares with her twin sister Ruby. No trace of her can be found. Thirty years later, someone leaves a message in the confession book of an old Scots clergyman: ‘I’m sorry about what happened to Rosie Thompson. May God forgive me.’

  • Cover - Hunt
    Cover - Hunt
    Hunt
    A novel full of suspense which will leave you dazed
    De Morgen

    In ‘Hunt’, as in his previous novels, Elvis Peeters succeeds in raising a fascinating moral issue through what appears to be just a story: what would happen if animals could think too? ‘Hunt’ depicts the biotope of man as an animal among animals. Will human hegemony remain in place, or do we need to share our dominant position with others?

  • Cover Hotel Rozenstok
    Cover Hotel Rozenstok
    Hotel Rozenstok
    A colourful and intense comedy *****
    De Standaard

    Christophe Vekeman decides, after a series of well received but not particularly successful novels, to give up writing. In ‘Hotel Rozenstok’, Vekeman presents an original and persistent challenge to all aspects of writing, balancing on the tightrope between fiction and reality, between fantasy and realism.

  • Cover - Dirty Skin
    Cover - Dirty Skin
    Dirty Skin
    Rough-and-tumble versions you have never heard before
    De Morgen

    In ’Dirty Skin’ anthropologist Marita de Sterck has collected forty Flemish folktales, uncensored and as close as possible to the oral tradition. Sometimes farcical and often grotesque, they are jam-packed with violence, lust, jealousy and the black arts.

  • Cover moon and sun
    Cover moon and sun
    Moon and Sun
    An awe-inspiring and terrifying achievement
    HP/ De Tijd

    Against the background of a community trapped between tradition and change, between past and present, ‘Moon and Sun’ is a family saga about background and poverty, honour and betrayal – a tale of fathers and sons and the soul of an island.

  • Cover Love, so to speak
    Cover Love, so to speak
    Love, so to speak
    Vivid, tantalising and almost Nabokovian
    De Morgen

    ‘Love, So To Speak’ is a stylistic, inimitable dark game between three characters in a love triangle in search of a foothold in a rocky life. Whether love can offer them that is very much the question. A virtuoso blend of philosophy and satire.

  • Cover The Art of Crashing
    Cover The Art of Crashing
    The Art of Crashing
    A disturbing, poetic and enchanting book
    WDR 3

    A novel about the ‘gap' inherent in the human condition and about the equally human desire to keep filling that gap with stories. It is a wonderful, stylistically astonishing trip that completely overwhelms the reader.

  • Cover Thirty Days
    Cover Thirty Days
    Thirty Days
    A courageous, inspiring and enthralling book *****
    De Standaard

    ‘Thirty Days’ is a novel about goodness and compassion. The book finds the perfect balance between sensitivity and humour, hopefulness and criticism, cheer and despair.

  • Cover Fall
    Cover Fall
    Fall
    Pitilessly tense, stylistically strong and more suggestion than slaughter.*****
    De Standaard

    In ‘Fall’ Roderik Six goes armed with stylistic brilliance in search of the ultimate evil, and what loneliness can do to a person. He proves himself a master of suggestion: his ironic narrative style and sparse, subtle use of language create the perfect atmosphere and tension.

  • Cover Blood Book
    Cover Blood Book
    Blood Book
    One of the great stylists of our contemporary literature
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Blood Book’ is an ironic retelling of the first five books of the Bible. These stories are awash with blood, but thanks to their potency and popularity they constitute what may be the most important book in the history of mankind: the Pentateuch. Verhulst tackles the Old Testament with his characteristic linguistic flair, replete with folksy idioms.

  • Cover Heaven
    Cover Heaven

    In this gem of a story, Bart Moeyaert writes with surprising lightness about loneliness and dying. Gerda Dendooven’s robust green-and-black drawings capture the tenderness of death and the strangeness of this imminent demise.

  • Cover Marie
    Cover Marie
    Marie
    A Shakespearean drama with the allure of a Quentin Tarantino film.
    Cobra

    Vekeman paints sharp contrasts: between love and death, between the isolated loner and village life, between the sophisticated style and the striking primitivism of the characters and between the absurd humour and the serious topics broached. The charm of this book lies in the impossible combination of contrasts, which, one way or another, are ultimately drawn together.

  • Cover Thieves of Passion
    Cover Thieves of Passion
    Thieves of Passion
    An ingeniously constructed book, rich in language and nuance
    De Morgen

    Thieves of Passion’ is an inspired epos about the youthful years that we lose, the love we long for and the mistakes that shape our lives. Victoria has written a recognisable generation novel about nostalgia for the golden days, for the places, the people and the stories that are gone for good.

  • Cover Dead Water
    Cover Dead Water
    Dead Water
    Subtle, sometimes poetic and never sensationalist
    Jury Knack Hercule Poirot Prize

    Inspector Meerhout becomes entangled in a web of intrigue, death threats, rough sex and pangs of conscience. Motives and potential perpetrators abound, but where lies the truth? ‘Dead water’ is a real page-turner, with a well thought-out plot and fascinating characters.

  • Cover The Reflections
    Cover The Reflections
    The Reflections
    A writer at the peak of his ability
    Cobra

    After World War I Edgard Demont returns physically and emotionally wounded to his native country. In search of a safe place among the confusion and destruction he finds that lovers are more effective than medication in helping him live with injuries that go deeper than the scars on his flesh.

  • Cover - The Butterfly Effect
    Cover - The Butterfly Effect
    The Butterfly Effect
    One of the most undervalued Flemish novelists
    Knack

    Angela Gutmann, who writes critical reviews of top hotels as a mystery guest, is staying at the famous Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai when, on 26 November 2008, four Pakistani terrorists burst in and start shooting people at random. The atmosphere evoked alternates between soft and melancholic. In between the vibrant, hypnotising lines smoulders a strong suggestion of suffering, loss and the need for (self-)control. This is a book about the barbed wire beneath the skin that we call self-preservation.

  • Cover Come Here and Let Me Kiss You
    330,000 copies sold
    Cover Come Here and Let Me Kiss You
    330,000 copies sold
    Come Here and Let Me Kiss You
    Her characters are credibly close to home
    De Standaard

    In ‘Come Here and Let Me Kiss You’ we follow Mona from a nine-year-old girl who loses her mother in a car accident to a thirty-five-year-old woman who watches her beloved sick father die. This is a universal story about why we become who we are.

  • Cover The Belgian Marriage
    Cover The Belgian Marriage
    The Belgian Marriage
    A great sense of style and humour.
    De Reactor

    Max Herder is getting married to Isabelle Fabry. A Dutchman marrying a Fleming. By expanding Max and Isabelle’s tale into a social story, Reugebrink has, above all, written a subtle, intelligent account of modern Flanders.

  • Cover Kaddish for a C*nt
    Cover Kaddish for a C*nt
    Kaddish for a C*nt
    Verhulst at his best, perhaps even better than ever: sharp, empathetic and subtle.
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Kaddish for a C*nt’ is a diptych about life in a children’s home and its consequences. It is a bitingly written punch in the stomach about children who constantly feel unwanted and unloved.

  • Cover Drarrie in the Night
    Cover Drarrie in the Night
    Drarrie in the Night
    Raw, full of humour, doubt and self-mockery
    Tzum

    El Azzouzi describes a group of young people who call themselves ‘Drarrie’ and populate the fringes of society. What begins as an entertaining picaresque novel slowly turns into a chilling story of radicalisation when one of the boys decides to become a martyr…

  • Cover Monte Carlo
    Cover Monte Carlo
    Monte Carlo
    A jewel that glitters like a freshly cut diamond
    Knack

    Monaco, May 1968. Just before the start of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the entire grandstand is witness to a terrible incident. Within seconds, two people are caught up in an accident that will change their lives forever. ‘Monte Carlo’ reads like a film and leaves readers with a desperate longing.

  • Cover The Woman Who Fed the Dogs
    Cover The Woman Who Fed the Dogs
    The Woman Who Fed the Dogs
    As clear as crystal and very impressive
    Knack

    This enthralling novel is a daring, but successful endeavour to paint a probing psychological portrait of a complex personality. At the same time, Hemmerechts develops an intense evocation of an unusual, intriguing relationship, astonishing and sometime provocative in all its directness.

  • Cover European Birds
    Cover European Birds
    European Birds
    In this novel, Koubaa approaches the style and yearning of Elsschot's best work
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    Can we really understand the past? Why do we so readily overlook the factor of chance? This makes ‘European Birds’ a novel where the truth is literally at stake: it is about probability and chance, about letting go and the art of not knowing for sure.

  • Cover The Goose and His Brother
    Cover The Goose and His Brother
    The Goose and His Brother
    Nothing but superlatives. The master’s hand can once again be recognised.
    Cutting Edge

    While the other animals take life as it comes, the goose and his brother ask themselves questions that are sometimes bigger than themselves. Bart Moeyaert finds the perfect balance between gentle humour and taking their concerns seriously. This lends the stories a timeless and universal character, poetically worded by Moeyaert in his distinctive economical style.

  • Cover War and Turpentine
    NY Times Favourite
    Cover War and Turpentine
    NY Times Favourite
    War and Turpentine
    One of the 10 best books of 2016
    The New York Times

    Right before his death in the 1980s, Stefan Hertmans’ grandfather gave his grandson a few notebooks. For years, Hertmans was too afraid to open them – until he finally did and laid bare some unexpected secrets.

  • Cover His Name Is David
    Cover His Name Is David
    His Name Is David
    A book to be unashamedly excited about
    NRC Handelsblad

    Flanders, 1914. David, a young Belgian schoolteacher, stands before the firing squad, sentenced to death for desertion. Days earlier, he was teaching his fellow soldiers in the trenches to read and write. But when he befriended a sensitive young pupil, Marcus Verschoppen, disaster followed.

  • Cover Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love
    Cover Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love
    Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love
    A captivating encounter with the remarkable Brontës
    Lancashire Evening Post

    In 1842 Charlotte Brontë goes to Brussels with her younger sister Emily to learn and teach, in the hope of starting her own private school. What exactly happened in Charlotte’s time in Brussels has never become completely clear... ‘Charlotte Brontë’s Secret Love’ is a Victorian flavoured book, with an omniscient narrator, which exudes a nineteenth-century, Brontë-esque atmosphere.

  • Cover Woesten
    Cover Woesten
    Woesten
    Enchantingly beautiful
    De Wereld Draait Door

    ‘Woesten’ recounts a suffocating story full of village gossip about a family in which fate strikes with a heavy hand, leaving no-one unscathed. It portrays a realistic, almost naturalistic image of a typical rural village in the early 20th century and offers a nuanced view of the psychology of intriguing characters.

  • Cover we and me
    Cover we and me
    We and Me
    A bitterly angry and amusing novel. De Coster places her protagonists on the operating table and dissects them cold-bloodedly.
    Spiegel Online

    The reader lands in the midst of an upper-class world teeming with dramas large and small, where love, truth and ambition are regularly at odds. ‘We and Me’ is a brilliant, astute family novel, full of intriguing characters sketched with great psychological insight and compassion. The book takes the measure of the modern European, and demonstrates the strength of family ties.

  • Cover The Man I Became
    Cover The Man I Became
    The Man I Became
    While it entertains us with the strangeness of anthropomorphism, it is profoundly engaged with the strangeness of being human
    The Times Literary Supplement

    ‘The Man I Became’ is an account written by an ape. Along with masses of fellow apes, he is plucked from a state of nature and, after a tough sea journey to the New World, subjected to a rigorous programme of civilization.

  • Cover The Detours
    Cover The Detours
    The Detours
    Theunissen has discovered his inner Homer for this modern Odyssey.
    De Standaard

    ‘The Detours’ is a lavishly painted saga of a post-war family in which too much has remained unsaid. Theunissen presents unforgettable characters in search of a good life, of themselves and of a way to feel connected.

  • Cover Someone's Sweetheart
    Cover Someone's Sweetheart
    Someone's Sweetheart
    Beautiful adaptation of Stravinsky’s 'The Soldier’s Tale'
    De Morgen

    ‘Someone’s Sweetheart’ is a fairytale in verse form, about a Russian soldier who is given two weeks annual leave from the battlefield in World War I. In the penetrating, moving text, Moeyaert continually plays with foreboding omens. The sinister atmosphere is enhanced by Korneel Detailleur’s impressive grey illustrations.

  • Fortunate Slaves
    Enthralling, amusing and intriguing *****
    De Volkskrant

    ‘Fortunate Slaves’ is out and out Lanoye: a pitch-black tragicomedy with unforgettable characters and dialogues, an ingenious plot and a virtuoso style.

  • Cover The City and Time
    Cover The City and Time
    The City and Time
    Robijn fits his touching miniatures into a larger, meaningful story without his characters becoming puppets. He is a born storyteller. *****
    De Standaard

    'The City and Time' consists of nine stories in chronological order, all of which take place in Brussels. Robijn’s characters all have difficulty getting by in life, but succeed by throwing themselves blindly into their regular activities. Until something – often love – turns up and turns everything upside down.

  • Cover The Latecomer
    85,000 copies sold
    Cover The Latecomer
    85,000 copies sold
    The Latecomer
    Will often have you in fits of laughter, only to grab you the next moment unexpectedly by the throat
    De Standaard

    A retired librarian wants to escape the dreary monotony his bossy wife has imposed on him. There is only one, extraordinary way in which he can regain the self-esteem that his marriage has dented. He plans to gradually feign dementia until he finds himself in a rest home, freed from all social and familial pressure.

  • Cover Many Heavens Beyond the Seventh
    Cover Many Heavens Beyond the Seventh
    Many Heavens Beyond the Seventh
    Delightful
    HP/De Tijd

    Five people, linked together, tell their story. They talk about unexpected happiness that makes things complicated, about secrets that seem too big to handle, about the complex art of being young, about obstacles that seem like mountains, about keeping on trying, to the point where no one can go any further.

  • Cover Winnings
    Cover Winnings
    Winnings
    Olyslaegers performs a high-wire act between monumental and over the top, between cool and affected. And he makes it to the other side, gloriously so.
    De Standaard

    In ‘Winnings’ Jeroen Olyslaegers asks pertinent questions about social engagement, art, spirituality, love and sex and does so with flair and devilish suspense. 

  • Cover Up To Date
    EU Prize for Literature
    Cover Up To Date
    EU Prize for Literature
    Up To Date
    Van Gerrewey proves once again that the intangible nature of love is still the ever-reliable fuel of literature
    De Morgen

    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.

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

  • Cover The Very Last Caracara of the World
    Cover The Very Last Caracara of the World
    The Very Last Caracara of the World
    Verhelst creates visual prose and will not readily be surpassed in that respect
    De Standaard

    The Belgian Doctor Duval moved to a magnificent tropical island years ago. Together with the priest and the Madame from the coffee house, he involves himself in the destiny of Cassandra, the girl who stands constantly at the water­line. Life on the island is abruptly disturbed when several whales and a number of women and girls who are unable to speak are washed ashore.

  • Cover - Tuesday
    Cover - Tuesday
    Tuesday
    Peeters excels in the plausible characterisation of entirely unscrupulous people
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Tuesday’ starts as the account of an ordinary day in the shambling life of an old man. Wandering around the city, his memories rise to the surface. The major contrast between then and now, between the impassive registration of daily events where moral implications are entirely lacking and the underlying dramatic life experiences make ‘Tuesday’ an impressive novel.

  • Cover - Assumptions
    Cover - Assumptions
    Assumptions
    A masterly collection of stories, highly intelligent and hugely comical *****
    De Standaard

    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. 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.

  • Cover - Flood
    Cover - Flood
    Flood
    This is not just a great debut novel, it’s a great book in general
    De Standaard

    An uncompromising reflection of the zeitgeist. Set against the backdrop of an ecological disaster, Roderik Six deploys his razor-sharp style to deliver a chilling story about the resilience of man and his ruthless urge to survive.

  • Cover Mass
    Cover Mass
    Mass
    The most versatile and most exciting voice of his generation.
    Tom Lanoye

    A chronicle about resistance and decay, with events that take place in Brussels, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles. This novel comes as close as possible to the core of this era, which even the ultra-rich can no longer control.

  • Cover Beast in bed
    Cover Beast in bed
    Beast in Bed
    Marita de Sterck gives fairy tales back their primal power.
    De Morgen

    In ‘Beast in Bed’, tales like Rapunzel and Snow White are restored to their former glory, giving them back their emotional and literary force and their fierce energy. A must-read for anyone who loves pure folk tales.

  • Cover Post Mortem
    Cover Post Mortem
    Post Mortem
    Three perfectly controlled puzzle pieces that will never entirely fit together
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    ‘Post Mortem’ is an intense and ingenious novel about a writer’s inspiration, a father’s love for his daughter and a man’s fear of losing his life after his death.

  • Cover A Thousand Hills
    Cover A Thousand Hills
    A Thousand Hills
    A complex but extremely clear and compelling novel about the recent history of Rwanda
    De Morgen

    ‘A Thousand Hills’ is a rich book, written with highly imaginative touch, that reveals the beauty and the tragedy of the land of a thousand hills. It steers a course between novel, history, anthropological study, and news report. ‘A Thousand Hills’ is a provocative novel and has the power to fuel discussions that still take place about Rwanda internationally.

  • Cover Witnesses
    Cover Witnesses
    Witnesses
    A clever thriller: exciting, with a well-rounded plot and very recognisable
    NDB Biblion

    When union official Martin looks away in terror from three youths who are spraying graffiti on a night train and then attack an elderly gentleman who says something about it, he finds himself in a moral quandary. Nobody notices him, he doesn’t have a mobile phone and the victim doesn’t seem to be in a bad way. Enough reasons for Martin not to call the police.

  • Cover Fortunately, We're Powerless
    Cover Fortunately, We're Powerless
    Fortunately, We’re Powerless
    The work of a highly imaginative mind, full of scintillating, poetic language
    Tzum

    The feigned cheerfulness of the family, the ambiguity of the characters’ banal behaviour and the gathering storm all suggest something terrible is about to happen. Combined with the suggestive style of the book, this ominous tension keeps the reader spellbound.

  • Cover Barely Body
    Cover Barely Body
    Barely Body
    Flawless stories like these haven’t appeared in Flanders for a long time.
    Knack

    ‘Barely Body’ is a collection of five classic existentialist tales about people who are alive only in the physical sense. Their dreams are mercilessly eroded by the ravages of time, turning them into pale shadows of who they used to be.

  • Cover The Man Who Didn't Want to be Buried
    Cover The Man Who Didn't Want to be Buried
    The Man Who Didn't Want to be Buried
    Lamrabet peels off skin after skin of the onion and does so in a magnificently compelling style ****
    De Volkskrant

    Moncif tells his story hiding under a table in the mortuary waiting for the guard to leave the building. His wife left him because he had distanced himself from Muslim culture and now that his brother has died in a car accident he has descended into deep despair.

  • Cover A Sleepless Summer
    Cover A Sleepless Summer
    A Sleepless Summer
    What an intense, intriguing drama!
    Knack

    An apparently trivial event trips an unstoppable chain reaction, leaving few characters unscathed. A tragicomic thriller with a strong narrative and everyday, yet unforgettable, characters. Uncanny, original and haunting.

  • Cover Stammered Songbook
    Cover Stammered Songbook
    Stammered Songbook
    It’s written with this precision, tenderness and sense of desolation
    Julian Barnes

    After Mortier's mother falls victim to Alzheimer's disease at the age of 57, he becomes the chronicler of her slow deterioration. ‘Stammered Songbook’ is not solely about mourning, but also about language, and above all about love. Mortier's book is an essential, universal lament, bitter and razor-sharp yet pure and sublime in its beauty.

  • Cover Post for Mrs. Bromley
    Cover Post for Mrs. Bromley
    Post for Mrs. Bromley
    Without doubt thé Dutch-language novel of the year. It is the most beautiful and overwhelming First World War epic of Flemish literature to date.
    Knack

    This is a novel about lies, illusions and make-believe. In an excellently documented portrait of an era, Brijs exposes the gulf between the excitement about the war and the appalling reality of it, depicted in strong dramatic scenes.

  • Cover Fire and Air
    Cover Fire and Air
    Fire and Air
    An immensely appealing novel, razor sharp in the psychological depiction of three generations of women. Humour and bitterness in the same breath.
    Trouw

    ‘Fire and Air’ is a moving tale of a family forced to live far from its native ground, in a place that will never feel like home. With sensitivity and humour Vlaminck shows the effect the uprooting of a family can have. It is the story of many emigrants all over the world, a highly-colourful portrait of a broken family.

  • Cover 'Again and Again and Again'
    Cover 'Again and Again and Again'
    Again and Again and Again
    Quality entertainment with characters that leave a lasting impression
    De Standaard

    Alex is a hero in the police force; Penny is an ex-whore and the leader of a group of militant prostitutes who have violently freed themselves from their pimps and anyone else who encroaches on their space. Once they were lovers, now they are perfect enemies in the smallest battlefield ever.

  • Cover Night Dancer
    Cover Night Dancer
    Night Dancer
    A novel full of warmth and characters that capture the imagination.
    De Standaard

    ‘Night Dancer’ is based on the contrast that exists between tradition and modern life in present-day Nigeria. In this book, the author shows the dilemma that many people in modern Africa face. Her portrayal is effective and is done with subtlety and a keen eye for the complexity of African society. 

  • Cover Cloud Faces
    Cover Cloud Faces
    Cloud Faces
    Heart-breaking – right down to the square centimetre. Left me breathless and moved to tears.
    Cutting Edge

    A novel that confirms that loving, even at a distance, gives life great quality. Bogaert often works with stilled, intimate scenes, very precisely drawn miniatures full of fine details that attest to an extraordinary gift of observation. His seemingly modest prose shimmers with sensibility and emotion, with melancholy and muted tragedy.

  • Cover The Virgin Marino
    Cover The Virgin Marino
    The Virgin Marino
    A stylistic tour de force
    De Morgen

    For ‘The Virgin Marino’ Petry was inspired by a notorious murder case in Germany in which a man was castrated, killed and eaten by his friend at his own request. His power lies in a combination of extremely precise, carefully considered formulations and astounding stylistic elegance. 

  • Cover The Affable Murderer
    Cover The Affable Murderer
    The Affable Murderer
    A must for literary connoisseurs
    Jury Schaduw Prize

    In this exploration of a murderer’s motives, Bram Dehouck manages to capture the audience’s attention from beginning to end, culminating in a nail-biting, tragic finale that will resonate with the reader for a long time.

  • Cover Speechless
    Cover Speechless
    Speechless
    Full of love and admiration, yet quivering like raw meat.
    De Standaard

    'Speechless' is an ‘unadorned account’, an informal, honest testimony of a mother by her son, in which much is in what is not mentioned: good nature, gratitude, endearment, closeness. At the same time, Lanoye reflects on the actual function of writing and the vital importance of language in these circumstances.

  • Cover We
    Cover We
    We
    When it comes to style, theme and narrative power, Olyslaegers proves to be a worthy bastard son of the great Hugo Claus. ‘We’ is a gift to Dutch-language literature.
    Humo

    Fast-paced and perceptive, ‘We’ is a many-layered book written in a natural, poetic language. It is a portrait of a man who is horrified by the pressure exerted by his environment as well as an incisive portrait of both the 1970s and today.

  • Cover Mise en Place
    Cover Mise en Place
    Mise en Place
    This book is worth three literary Michelin stars. It is a masterpiece.
    Liberales

    This is a gripping novel about how chance and random pieces of information, transformed into poignant memories and delusions, can have a lasting impact on somebody’s life. Vanderstraeten creates an engaging human drama about a guilt-ridden man and manages to sustain the tension up until the surprising conclusion.

  • Cover Saving Fish
    Cover Saving Fish
    Saving Fish
    A very intelligent novel
    De Morgen

    Monique gains a new lust for life in her devotion to protesting against the worldwide depletion of the fish population. This good cause justifies the flight from her own problems. Until she can no longer hide behind cod and tuna. An intelligent, intense and admirable novel full of ambiguous and laconic humour.

  • Cover The Guard
    EU Prize for Literature
    Cover The Guard
    EU Prize for Literature
    The Guard
    A tremendous novel, often horrifically funny and always unsettling
    Irish Times

    ‘The Guard’ is set largely in the underground car park of a luxurious block of flats. Two guards, are never relieved. Terrin tells a strongly allegorical story of 21st century society. ‘The Guard’ is not only an enthralling psychological novel, but also encompasses oppressiveness, emotion and sensuality.

  • Cover Us
    Film release in 2018
    Cover Us
    Film release in 2018
    Us
    A ruthless, merciless motherf***ing novel
    Literair Nederland

    The story is about eight boys and girls who view the worlds of school and adulthood as empty. Free and secluded, they dispel tedium with uninhibited sexual games, continually shifting their limits. When one of them dies as a consequence, even this fails to move them.

  • Cover Great European Novel
    Cover Great European Novel
    Great European Novel
    A revelation. Reading a story like this makes you happy
    Corriere della Sera

    Robin, young and ambitious, takes a tour of all the capital cities of Europe on behalf of his world-weary employer, looking for new marketing strategies for promotional gifts. In ‘Great European Novel’ – a tongue-in-cheek reference to ‘The Great American Novel’ – Koen Peeters has found the perfect form for a book about Europe and the European idea that lies behind it.

  • Cover A Child of God
    Cover A Child of God
    A Child of God
    Intelligent irony lends these serious stories a wonderfully light tone.
    Het Parool

    Rachida Lamrabet tells moving stories about ordinary people. Not only does she have a story to tell, but she does so beautifully and incisively.

  • Cover Fatherland
    Cover Fatherland
    Fatherland
    Joseph Pearce asks relevant and nuanced questions about the Jewish identity.
    Het Nieuwsblad

    Starting with a Jewish man requesting euthanasia in Belgium in 2008, Pearce traces the history of a Jewish family back to Poland at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Each chapter presents timeless conflicts between father and son. Do we stay or go, integrate or retain our own identity, cling to faith or enter the big, wide world? And how do we respond to persecution?

  • Cover Candy Floss
    Cover Candy Floss
    Candy Floss
    A highly enjoyable narrative
    De Standaard

    In the early twentieth century, Jean-Baptist Van Hooylandt travels from fair to fair with his collection of living human curiosities. The most astonishing piece in his collection is a ‘derodyme’: female Siamese twins, who unfortunately die in dramatic circumstances in 1912.

  • Cover Pitbull
    Cover Pitbull
    Pitbull
    Reminiscent of a Patricia Highsmith classic
    De Morgen

    ‘Pitbull’ is a chilling psychological thriller with a strong streak of horror. With a keen eye for detail, Deflo sketches a razor-sharp portrait of a tormented psychopath’s obsessions. Not suitable for sensitive readers.

  • Cover While the Gods Were Sleeping
    shortlist Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
    Cover While the Gods Were Sleeping
    shortlist Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
    While the Gods Were Sleeping
    The footprint of Proust visible on every page
    The Financial Times

    Old Helena looks back on her youth, the loves she has known, her marriage and the distressing time she experienced in World War I. The topic and style make ‘While the Gods Were Sleeping’ in all respects an exceptional literary experience.

  • The Hidden Fabric
    Its wording is exceptionally meticulous and subtle. A work of art
    Knack

    In a fragmentary way Stefan Hertmans explores and evokes the consciousness of Jelina, a forty-year old author. Promises for the future have failed to deliver, any hope of finding happiness has shrunk. Will she choose her family in the end?

  • Cover On Black Sisters Street
    Cover On Black Sisters Street
    On Black Sisters' Street
    Lively and engaging... On Black Sisters’ Street is a pleasure to read: fast-paced, lucidly structured and colourful.
    Times Literary Supplement

    ‘On Black Sisters Street’ tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives.

  • Cover Baudelaire's Revenge
    Cover Baudelaire's Revenge
    Baudelaire’s Revenge
    A wonderful and believable portrait of the period, through the medium of an intelligently constructed crime story.
    De Morgen

    ‘Baudelaire’s Revenge’ is a literary thriller that brings to life a tumultuous period in French history in a masterly and evocative way: far from pretty and poetic, but raw and plausible.

  • Cover Greener Grass
    Cover Greener Grass
    Greener Grass
    Beautifully articulated and full of unexpected twists and turns
    De Telegraaf

    ‘Greener Grass’ is a collection of stories in which a succession of people step into the limelight, all of whose lives contain substantial hidden realms. With their emotional isolation and longing for affection, the characters arouse sympathy and compassion, even if their self-control ends in a violent outburst.

  • Cover - Woman Country
    Cover - Woman Country
    Woman Country
    A wonderful story, impossible to put down
    De Morgen

    The novel presents a Moroccan outlook on the differences between Moroccans in Morocco and those who have emigrated; between their own values and Western values; between tradition and the modern ways of thinking that men find so hard to deal with.

    Lamrabet creates above all a subtle and convincing portrait of a fascinating woman, who, standing firmly by her decisions, must pay the social and intellectual price.

  • Cover The Bee Eaters
    Cover The Bee Eaters
    The Bee Eaters
    With this extraordinarily successful book, Terrin confirms what gradually should become official: he and no one else is the most intriguing author of his generation.
    De Tijd

    ‘The Bee Eaters’ combines a refined style with a great deal of depth of content, eeriness with the identifiable, the everyday with what is concealed behind the facade. Terrin is not only inspired by the work of Camus but also by, for example, Franz Kafka and Willem Frederik Hermans.

  • Cover The Straggler
    Cover The Straggler
    The Straggler
    Flair, intelligence, and humour are abundantly present in his book.
    Het Parool

    Gram is a devotee of cool intelligence who likes to regard people as machines rather than as creatures with a unique personality and psychology. However, he cannot function as a machine himself. But then he becomes a prey to the thing he had always repudiated: emotions.

  • Cover 'Giant'
    Cover 'Giant'
    Giant
    A novel of real pandemonium
    De Standaard

    Two sisters, Hannah and Kim, were left by their mother under dramatic circumstances twelve years ago. Confronted with both professional and romantic issues, the two sisters decide to rethink their lives and leave for Australia. There they start on a suicidally inspired journey, in the course of which they are able to locate their mother, who is living with a group of Aboriginal women. 

  • Cover Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill
    Cover Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill
    Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill
    Often preposterous, sometimes poignant and, above all, consistently charming
    The Independent

    Many years ago, Madame Verona and her husband, both musicians, moved to a house on a hill outside the village of Oucwègne. Verhulst portrays this worn-out village with an extraordinary sensitivity to simplicity and authenticity. The exceptional care he devotes to style, as a master of the craft, shows some very appealing geniality and intimism. 

  • Cover The Misfortunates
    400,000 copies sold
    Cover The Misfortunates
    400,000 copies sold
    The Misfortunates
    Continually surprises and intrigues
    The Guardian

    In a forgotten village somewhere in Flanders, a boy lives with his father and three uncles in his grandmother’s house. They’re an ill-mannered and coarse bunch, unpredictable heavy drinkers. Wallowing at the bottom of the social ladder, their lives are a total mess.

  • Cover The Phoenix
    Cover The Phoenix
    The Phoenix
    This is a story about how tragic loss can totally consume a human being. Chika Unigwe’s spare and accessible telling has created a truly poignant narrative.
    Ike Oguine, author of ‘A Squatter’s Tale’

    She explores the relationship between migration and loneliness, both of which are becoming more entrenched in modern European society. ‘The Phoenix’ is Unigwe’s debut novel: the story of a strong woman who, hit by loss, homesickness and illness, tries to keep going. 

  • Cover Fort Europe. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Cover Fort Europe. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Fort Europa. A Canticle of Fragmentation
    Virtuoso writing and an intellectually challenging reflection of our living environment
    De Standaard

    In this polyphonic theatre novella, there are fantasises, speculations and brainstorms in antitheses about the future of Europe. Seven anonymous Europeans tell their stories. Lanoye describes a future Europe that is dominated by dissatisfaction and the longing for a better version of itself.

  • Cover Air
    Cover Air
    Air
    In this tour de force, Koubaa brings the Western tradition of rationality and Eastern nature poetry into harmony with each other.
    Knack

    Bart Koubaa brings the life story of an ordinary man into direct connection with historical events and developments. His main character is a man trying to come to terms with his past but also fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.

  • Cover The Uncountables
    Cover The Uncountables
    The Uncountables
    A story that reads like a poetically written prophecy of doom
    Het Parool

    ‘The Uncountables’ is a novel which brings to life the consequences of the warped relationship between poor and rich countries, in this case a Europe languishing in its wealth, and which brings home the possible consequences of an unstoppable stream of refugees. The novel engages with an all-too-real problem in a strongly allegorical way which confronts the reader with his own existence.

  • Cover The Angel Maker
    Cover The Angel Maker
    The Angel Maker
    Unerring and compassionate
    De Telegraaf

    Geneticist Victor Hoppe returns after an absence of nearly twenty years to the village of Wolfheim. The doctor brings with him his infant children – three identical boys all sharing the same disfigurement. ‘The Angel Maker’ is a chilling story that explores the ethical limits of science and religion.

  • Cover Blockmeat (Scraps)
    Cover Blockmeat (Scraps)
    Blockmeat (Scraps)
    Detached and playful; mischievous, ironic, ambiguous and not seldom hilarious
    De Morgen

    The main character in ‘Blockmeat’ and his pal Celis attempt to organise a ‘better’ food distribution for the homeless. But thanks to the liberal amounts of wine involved, this inevitably gets completely out of hand.

  • Cover The Unexpected Answer
    Cover The Unexpected Answer
    The Unexpected Answer
    Full of colour, sounds, clear water, and pure poison
    De Standaard

    ‘The Unexpected Answer’ is a sultry book, full of insatiable passion that explodes in the penultimate chapter ‘The Love Letter’, an amalgam of letter fragments written by the collective of women circling Godfried H., and ultimately a single woman who appears in different guises.

  • Cover Omega Minor
    Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
    Cover Omega Minor
    Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
    Omega Minor
    The whole 20th century in one novel
    Richard Powers

    ‘Omega Minor’ is a total novel with an international air, in which the author explores the essence of human nature against the background of twentieth-century history. Its baroque, epic narrative style and structure, its ambition to lay bare human motivation and its determination to present ‘science, art and memory’ as one great interwoven whole make ‘Omega Minor’ a fascinating and thoroughly impressive book.

  • Cover A Day with Mr. Jules
    Cover A Day with Mr. Jules
    A Day with Mr. Jules
    A compact, elegiac and atmospheric book
    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    When she finds her husband dead, Alice does not rush to the phone to call the doctor or her son. She wraps Jules in a plaid, and makes plans for lunch. She is willing to relinquish her husband to death if need be, but not to the outside world. ‘A Day with Mr. Jules’ is a touching, convincing novel about the end of a man’s life: a worthy “sputtering finale of belching steam”.

  • Cover Blank
    Cover Blank
    Blank
    Like an iron first around your throat
    De Morgen

    Viktor, a biologist working for the Ministry of Public Health, has difficulty coming to terms with the death of his wife during a carjacking. Worried about the assumed lack of security at his son Igor’s school, he barricades the two of them in their flat. Extreme care and responsibility gradually turn into pure insanity.

  • Cover Sleep!
    Cover Sleep!
    Sleep!
    Funny, singular and moving
    De Morgen

    ‘Sleep!’ is a convincing novel about two insomniacs, in which the author uses the complex personalities of her characters to pen a strikingly insightful vision of life and its experiences. Verbeke writes about the underdog, about people whose poignant yearning for a normal life arouses our compassion.

  • Cover Problemski Hotel
    Cover Problemski Hotel
    Problemski Hotel
    An extremely fascinating book in which the everyday lives of asylum seekers is told in an unparalleled fashion
    De Standaard

    The narrator, Bipul Masli, sketches an intriguing picture of life in an asylum centre. He describes the daily routine with detached irony. His tireless attempts to gain recognition as a refugee are both comic and touching.

  • Cover Poppy Seed
    Cover Poppy Seed
    Poppy Seed
    Sober language, restraint, observational talent and the ability to tell a good story: Joseph Pearce has it all.
    NRC Handelsblad

    Gisèle remains a mystery throughout. Joseph Pearce shows everything she does, exposes her every thought. And yet... It gradually becomes clear that Gisèle makes things unnecessarily difficult for herself and for others.

  • Cover Memoirs of a Leopard
    Cover Memoirs of a Leopard
    Memoirs of a Leopard
    An intoxicating, sensory gem of a novel
    NBD Biblion

    Verhelst writes this story of an inspired passion in highly poetic, but also glowing, compelling and incisive prose, with a strongly physical wealth of images, a super-sensitive and sensual explicitness. This creates a troubled, but fascinating blurring of the boundaries between reality and imagination, as well as reality and memory.

  • Cover The Plague
    Cover The Plague
    The Plague
    A talented writer, original and funny, who is definitely one to watch
    Le Monde

    While working on his thesis, David Van Reybrouck came across the accusation that the Belgian writer and Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck had plagiarised from the work of the South African author Eugène Marais. ‘The Plague’ sweeps the reader along in a thrilling literary adventure, which leaves its image on the mind’s eye long after the last page has been turned.

  • Cover Next Year in Berchem
    Cover Next Year in Berchem
    Next Year in Berchem
    The evocative power of language, together with Pleysier’s masterful arrangement of words and sentences, combine to make this a literary jewel.
    De Telegraaf

    Pleysier is a master at giving voice to that great and painful silence of the generations. He does this without using any great emphasis, so that the reader feels he is a guest in the house, and, like the narrator, looks forward to being invited to Berchem again next year.

     

  • Cover Mijn Tweede Huid
    Cover Mijn Tweede Huid
    My Fellow Skin
    A sparkling novel with a thunderous effect, a Flemish song of truth and semblance
    Vrij Nederland

    Mortier writes with great powers of suggestion. So many things in this book, although remaining hidden, are made as clear as day.

    ‘My Fellow Skin’ is ultimately about loss. Anton loses not only his love, but also his youth, the protection of his parents and the old house in the village, and is left desolate.

  • Cover Marcel
    Cover Marcel
    Marcel
    A literary debut of great originality
    The Times Literary Supplement

    This novel, peppered with countless striking metaphors and colloquialisms, describes the vivid history of a family in a Flemish village. The essence of the novel is a cautious fumbling for truth. A young boy attempts to fathom his grandmother’s proud, dour demeanour and to get closer to his teacher. But above all he wants to understand what happened to Marcel.

  • Cover - Tonguecat
    Cover - Tonguecat
    Tonguecat
    A display of fireworks so sensual you can taste them.
    Gouden Uil jury

    Perfect order always degenerates into chaos, and revolutions into hell. Peter Verhelst describes a city falling apart and descending into violence. ‘Tonguecat’ is a real literary tour de force, a visionary story about today’s urban society and about revolutions.

  • Cover Land of Promise
    Cover Land of Promise
    Land of Promise
    Only one word comes to mind: a masterpiece.
    Le Soir

    When Joseph Pearce was fourteen his father told him he was not an Englishman but from Germany and of Jewish origin. Twenty-five years later, Pearce decided to seek out his Jewish relatives. With the story of his own odyssey, which takes him to blood relatives on four continents, Pearce makes the tragedy of the twentieth century painfully palpable.

  • Cover It's Love We Don't Understand
    20,000 copies sold
    Cover It's Love We Don't Understand
    20,000 copies sold
    It's Love We Don't Understand
    I am well past fifteen years old, but I am glad that this book has come my way.
    Het Parool

    Through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old girl, we witness the life of a broken family over the course of three stories. In the first of the three we plunge straight into a fierce family quarrel. All survive intact. But the tone has been set. Bart Moeyaert deals with love in a sensitive and refreshing way, expertly unravelling its complexities while at the same time leaving its mystery intact.

  • Cover Language Without Me
    Cover Language Without Me
    Language Without Me
    More than a tribute to a loved one and a poet: a sincere work by a sensitive and powerful writer
    NRC Handelsblad

    The author uses De Coninck’s poems as the vehicle to tell his story; with them she is able to describe the biographical background and the intimacy of their shared life, while retaining the balance she seeks. Within this poetic space she makes clear what Herman de Coninck was – and is – to her.

  • Cover The Phoenix
    Cover The Phoenix
    The Phoenix
    Claes’ ingenuity conceals the fact that he has cast his tale in the form of a thriller - a convincing and exciting thriller
    De Volkskrant

    ‘The Phoenix’ is a historical detective story in the tradition of Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose’. It takes place in Florence in 1494, and the leading character is one of the greatest scholars of the Renaissance, Count Pico della Mirandola, known as the Phoenix.

  • Cover Toast
    Cover Toast
    Toast (Tox/Soap/Web)
    Hard, pleasantly crude and more topical than ever. His stories are on fast forward without the brakes on.
    De Standaard over 'Web'

    Mennes depicts young characters who resort to extreme measures in an attempt to deal with the emptiness of their lives. ‘Toast’ offers a heart-wrenching and impressive portrait of a Lost Generation.

  • Cover From Bruges With Love
    Cover From Bruges With Love
    From Bruges with Love
    Aspe’s characters are very complex, his plot excellent.
    Vrij Nederland

    ‘From Bruges with Love’ is the third instalment in the popular thriller series around Inspector Van In. By touching on issues such as paedophilia, corruption and blackmail, the narrative provides a critique of the cover-ups that have rocked Belgian politics.

  • Cover The Midas Murders
    Cover The Midas Murders
    The Midas Murders
    A particularly complex plot that intrigues, surprises and fascinates until the very last page
    De Morgen

    ‘The Midas Murders’ is the second in the popular crime series around the eccentric Inspector Pieter Van In. The title refers to King Midas, the Greek mythological figure who had the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. Aspe demonstrates that in both ancient Greece and present-day Belgium profiteering can lead to tragedy.

  • Cover - The Rumours
    Cover - The Rumours
    The Rumours
    The text radiates a delight in writing
    De Morgen

    ‘The Rumours’ evokes a panoramic image of 'la Flandre profonde', delving beneath the shiny veneer into the depths of its corruption and violence. Comprehension of the central storyline is hampered by the permanent tension between truth and lie. All this is presented by Claus in a playful style, as if we were reading not a dramatic allegory but a juicy village chronicle.

  • Cover The Power of Fire
    Cover The Power of Fire
    The Power of Fire
    Mendes measures up to Ludlum and Clavell.
    Haagsche Courant

    An accurate, well-researched depiction of the extreme political tensions in the Middle East in the twentieth century. Against this historical backdrop, Mendes steers his story to a spectacular climax.

  • Cover 'Horses are Pigs too'
    Cover 'Horses are Pigs too'
    Horses are Pigs too
    Stylistically sharp from beginning to end, a tour de force throughout
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    Eduard Bottelaer is a forty-year-old actor who doesn’t expect much from life any more. That is, until he meets the young artist Helena. When she sets off for New York, leaving Eduard behind, she gives him a special task. Eduard is hopelessly in love and becomes obsessed by the bizarre challenge, which lands him in the most unexpected situations.

  • Cover - High Key
    Cover - High Key
    High Key
    Lively and full of surprises
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    'High Key' is a postmodern novel, a collection of text types: monologues, dances and stories. Hoste tries to create a new reality via the imagination and techniques of association. It can be read as an incantation or a magic spell.

  • Cover To Blackbird Creek
    Cover To Blackbird Creek
    To Blackbird Creek
    Hertmans looks at the world through a microscope
    Leipziger Zeitung

    In ‘To Blackbird Creek’, Stefan Hertmans narrates the coming of age of a boy in a Flemish village in the 1950s and 60s, in a grotesque, but just as often moving way. His budding sexuality and lively imagination so take possession of him that the world appears dark, terrifying and full of secrets.

  • Cover - The Yellow River Is Freezed Over
    Cover - The Yellow River Is Freezed Over
    The Yellow River Is Freezed Over
    More beautiful and more moving prose has not appeared this year. A gem.
    Vrij Nederland

    This book is narrated by the author as a young boy, who listens to his mother read out letters from her absent sister-in-law, a Catholic nun doing missionary work in far-off China. The novelty is the narration of the story from a child’s perspective – a child who is so close to the ground that he tells people apart by their feet.

  • Cover 'Christmas and Other Love Stories'
    Cover 'Christmas and Other Love Stories'
    Christmas and Other Love Stories
    Excellent book
    NBD Biblion

    Love and what follows is the theme of this collection of ten stories: about the catastrophe ánd the tenderness of sex, about habit, love-hate, memory, selfpity, rollicking revenge.

  • Cover - The Charred Alphabet
    Cover - The Charred Alphabet
    The Charred Alphabet
    A masterpiece
    Het Nieuwsblad

    ‘The Charred Alphabet’ follows the life of the author from October 1990 to September 1991. This literary diary is a colourful mixture of stories, impressions of and reflections on literature, art, love, nature, politics and growing old.

  • Cover Cardboard Boxes
    Cover Cardboard Boxes
    Cardboard Boxes
    An original and particularly funny novel full of amusing melancholy
    NRC Handelsblad

    Lanoye has managed to deal with the banal subject of a boy's unrequited love in a thoroughly unbanal way. This auto-biographical story retains its power because it is imbedded in the hilarious background of a childhood in Flanders around 1970. With his rich, melancholic style Lanoye has been able to create a modest monument for his first `touching' romance.

  • Cover Café De Raaf Is Still Closed
    Cover Café De Raaf Is Still Closed
    Café De Raaf Is Still Closed
    Complete hopelessness without slipping into pathos or protective irony
    Ons Erfdeel

    In this collection of stories Berckmans shows the most unsavoury and corrupt side of reality. The unstable characters bear their existential emptiness without illusions, self-deceiving optimism is alien to them. Every sentence of Berckmans is filled with the buzz of rock ‘n roll. 

  • Cover - White is always nice
    Cover - White is always nice
    White is Always Nice
    A moving book with a rich and functional recounting of anecdotes
    Het Parool

    ‘White is Always Nice’ is a moving story about origins, mourning and language. It is the extended monologue of an old woman who has just died but cannot stop talking. In a one-sided conversation with her silent son, she keeps up her usual non-stop chatter as her body is laid out and preparations are made for the wake.

  • Cover - Aunt Jeannot’s Hat
    Cover - Aunt Jeannot’s Hat
    Aunt Jeannot’s Hat
    A magnificent book
    Ons Erfdeel

    ‘Aunt Jeannot’s Hat' is set in a suburb of the city shortly after the Second World War. The air is alive with the excitement of newfound freedom and life has taken its leave of traditional conventions. The magnificent and the mundane aspects of a young boy’s life are beautifully depicted in many small details.

  • Cover By the Sea
    Cover By the Sea
    By the Sea
    Fresh and candid. De Kuypers’s amused style lifts everything up out of the everyday.
    Vrij Nederland

    At the end of the 1940s a family from Brussels resume a pre-war tradition of spending the summer in Ostend, on the Belgian coast. As he plays, the young boy Eric takes it all in: the sights, textures, tastes and smells – all the things his adult self will remember with delight and wonder.

  • Cover A Tender Destruction
    Cover A Tender Destruction
    A Tender Destruction
    Claus reveals his mastery by producing a sentimental story about a total failure
    De Morgen

    In ‘A Tender Destruction’ Claus uses a number of tried and trusted themes. However, he tells the tale of this tragic love affair masterfully, without ever becoming depressing.

  • Cover Gangreen 1 - Black Venus
    Cover Gangreen 1 - Black Venus
    Gangrene 1 - Black Venus
    Geeraerts’ sentences twist and twine across the pages like lightning-speed lianas
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘Black Venus’ is one of the most talked-about novels from post-war Flanders. The controversy surrounding the publication was astounding. Applauded as brilliant, then decried for ‘extolling of racism and pornography’; however shocked conformist Belgium might have been, no-one could really deny that seldom had a writer approached such a sensitive subject with such monumental daring. 

  • Cover A Butcher's Son with Glasses
    Cover A Butcher's Son with Glasses
    A Butcher's Son with Glasses
    Ingeniously constructed and imaginative tales arouse emotion and a sense of tragedy.
    Het Parool

    The four stories in this debut provide a caricatured but equally nostalgic and loving impression of ‘La Flandre Profonde’ and demonstrate Lanoye’s feel for humour and style. Although the main character from ‘A Butcher’s Son with Glasses’ resembles the author in many ways, these stories are nevertheless loaded with surrealism, wit and crackling irony.

  • Cover The Alzheimer Case
    Cover The Alzheimer Case
    The Alzheimer Case
    A 'golden oldie'
    De Leeswolf

    Within the space of three days, six people are murdered. All the evidence leads to Angelo Ledda, a ruthless hitman who suffers from progressive memory loss. A well-researched crime novel by the 'Godfather of the Flemish thriller'.

  • Cover The Man Who Found a Job
    Cover The Man Who Found a Job
    The Man Who Found a Job
    Virtuoso composition and writing
    NRC Handelsblad

    ‘The Man Who Found a Job’ is a milestone in Brusselmans' extensive oeuvre, serving as unique point of reference for one of Flanders’ most read authors. The combination of desperation and emptiness and the sardonic indulgence of this general malaise in the innocent, unsuspecting citizen caused a major stir in the traditional Flemish literature of the 1980s. 

  • Cover The Accursed Fathers
    Cover The Accursed Fathers
    The Accursed Fathers
    A literary achievement of the first order
    SÄCHSISCHE ZEITUNG

    Central to ‘The Accursed Fathers’ is the life story of Pamela. Rejected by her mother who had been hoping for a boy, browbeaten by her father whom she refuses to hate, the heroine of the story is the eternal victim of a hereditary curse. Through her central character, Monika van Paemel exposes the subjugation of women

  • Cover - The Sorrow of Belgium
    The greatest classic in Flemish literature
    Cover - The Sorrow of Belgium
    The greatest classic in Flemish literature
    The Sorrow of Belgium
    One of the landmark European novels of the post-war era
    J.M. Coetzee

    This Bildungsroman is also a social document about political and social misfortune in Flanders before, during, and after World War II. The novel has continued to be a bestseller for many years and has been translated into numerous languages.

  • Cover Letter to Boudewijn
    Cover Letter to Boudewijn
    Letter to Boudewijn
    Moving, interesting and a literary jewel in terms of its form
    Vrij Nederland

    ‘Letter to Boudewijn’ is a lesson in social history, a meticulous description of village life, and an autobiography all in one. It is a book in which the author confronts himself with his origins, with the shift from material to spiritual poverty, and with sorrow at the loss of solid ground in a group of people who stick together.

  • Cover Writing Prague
    Cover Writing Prague
    Writing Prague
    A web in which everything is magically interwoven
    KANTL

    In ‘Writing Prague’ Daniël Robberechts tries to create a written portrait of this turbulent city during the end of the 1960s and the decade that followed it. As it goes on, the web becomes increasingly tangled, and ‘Writing Prague’ turns into a book about writing a book, begging the question: is ‘writing’ Prague even possible anymore?

  • Cover Pieter Daens
    Cover Pieter Daens
    Pieter Daens
    Great because of its simplicity and its instantly gripping truthfulness
    Gazet van Antwerpen

    monumental book and true Flemish classic. It is a spectacular expression of Boon’s compassion for the committed individual who, despite all adversity, wants to keep on believing in socialist ideals.

  • The Year of Cancer
    With frightening precision, 'The Year of Cancer' sums up just how ugly love can be
    De Morgen

    Pierre, a suave young man from the insurance and banking world falls for Toni, a simple and somewhat unstable beautician working in show business. The couple gradually drift apart, until the inevitable break-up follows. Pierre continues to read Toni’s horoscope, Cancer. A couple of years later, he is called to her sickbed.

  • Cover Arriving In Avignon
    Cover Arriving In Avignon
    Arriving In Avignon
    'Arriving In Avignon’ is its own strange and gorgeously sprightly thing. Here’s hoping that as many readers as possible will discover it.
    Rain Taxi Review of Books

    What at first resembles a cross between a memoir and a guidebook in time proves to be the story of a young man's dogged yet futile quest to know his own mind – unless it is the ancient city of Avignon itself that is our real protagonist: a mystery that can be approached, but never wholly solved. The narrative unfolds in a stream of consciousness, drawing the reader into the protagonist’s quest for experience.

  • Cover The Reservation
    Cover The Reservation
    The Reservation
    A work of lasting value for any conscious human being
    Algemeen Dagblad

    Basile Jonas, a sensitive and vulnerable teacher, is crushed and devoured by the totalitarian and materialistic society he lives in. Everything in this society is geared towards Utility and Profit, leaving no space for softer values such as poetry, music and friendship.

  • Cover The Alpha Cycle
    America Award
    Cover The Alpha Cycle
    America Award
    The Alpha Cycle