Skip to main content

Nonfiction

Read more about this genre in the essay Nonfiction in Flanders: a relatively new genre, or scroll through our selection of the finest nonfiction from Flanders.

trans­lated into
  • Cover When the water breaks
    Cover When the water breaks
    When the Water Breaks
    Empathy is the raw material all his books are made of
    Humo

    This is the true story of a fisherman and his daughter, who fled their home country Vietnam some time ago. Hung crossed the ocean in his small fishing vessel to start a new life in a village behind a high sea wall. Quyen opened a successful restaurant, but is now struggling with an identity crisis.

  • Cover Back to Neerpelt
    Cover Back to Neerpelt
    Back to Neerpelt
    Lieve Joris views half the world as her village. Therein lies the universal and personal power of her books.
    Ons Erfdeel

    Lieve Joris has acquired an international reputation as an author of non-fiction travelogues. For many years she travelled around Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and more recently China, and considered the world to be her village. Now she has returned to Flanders, to Neerpelt, to the house by the canal where she grew up as the middle child in a chaotic family of nine.

  • The Father and the Philosopher - cover
    The Father and the Philosopher - cover
    The Father and the Philosopher. Saving the Husserl archives
    A story comparable to a novel by Umberto Eco or Dan Brown, except for the fact that it really happened
    De Volkskrant

    At first an exciting story about smuggling manuscripts set against the backdrop of the persecution of Jews before and during the Second World War, this book indirectly develops into a history of European philosophy in the twentieth century.

  • Cover The Global Sixties. A Cultural History
    Cover The Global Sixties. A Cultural History
    The Global Sixties. A Cultural History
    Magnificent book that honours all these coloured voices that are so often left out of the narrative
    vileine.com (Hadjar Benmiloud)

    A unique cultural history of the 1960s as a global phenomenon. This book deals with the usual counterculture suspects and the Flower Power generation, as well as the sensitivities and tastes of what American President Nixon called the Silent Majority. It takes into account the work of artists from Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia in a dazzling overview that puts the Sixties in a new perspective.

  • Sound
    Sound
    Sound
    A passionate account about the intangible of music
    Mauro Pawlowski, musician

    Music is able to move people, to ease their pain, or simply to make them want to dance. But what do we experience exactly listening to Chopin, Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan? Which features characterize our musical experience?

  • Cover Dirty Sheets
    Cover Dirty Sheets
    Dirty Sheets. A Contemporary View on Sexuality
    A shamelessly intelligent book about sex
    De Standaard

    Sex is everywhere. On television, on the streets, on social media – there’s no escaping it. In this book the authors show that our supposed sexual freedom is an illusion. They explore history, culture and science, and their own experiences, to discover the things that restrict our bodies. A real treasure-chest of knowledge which covers many of our unnecessary embarrassments on sexuality.

  • Cover Spoiler
    Cover Spoiler
    Spoiler. On television series and world literature
    Thought-provoking perspectives and choices
    Cutting Edge

    Television series - one of the most important mainstream media - continue the debate initiated by the great classics of world literature. In light-hearted essays leavened with humour, Cloostermans identifies connections between television series and literary classics and analyses what they say about our age and about universal human themes such as identity, meaning and (self-)improvement.

  • Cover The Excess of Empathy. Towards a Functional Indifference
    Cover The Excess of Empathy. Towards a Functional Indifference
    The Excess of Empathy. Towards a Functional Indifference
    A multifaceted and nuanced book about a current topic
    Trouw

    In times in which social contrasts and social inequality are becoming more and more pronounced, there are loud calls for more empathy. But is empathy always good? Or can we have too much of it? Ignaas Devisch challenges us to reconsider our view of humanity: deep down, aren’t we all not just friends but scoundrels as well?

  • De bones of the Borinage
    De bones of the Borinage

    In April 1878 miners in Bernissart, a Walloon village in the former coal region of the Borinage, came across a vast quantity of dinosaur bones. The remains of some thirty iguanodons were discovered in the clay at a depth of 322 metres. Thanks to the clay, several skeletons had been preserved fully intact.

  • 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 Philosophy of Violence
    Cover Philosophy of Violence
    Philosophy of Violence
    Giving new contextual dimensions to a word that is increasingly being used with the exclusive definition of ‘causing harm to others’
    Cutting Edge

    We usually think of violence in black and white terms: it is good or bad. Philosophers are expected to provide arguments in support of that perspective. Lode Lauwaert however, believes that such a reductionist view of the world cannot adequately answer complex questions. His ‘Philosophy of Violence’ is an erudite, rich and varied book that encourages the reader to think differently about violence. 

  • Cover The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    Cover The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    The alternation between zooming in to focus on the films and panning out to the world stage works well.
    De Standaard

    Matthijs de Ridder gives a sparkling account of an artist who was able to embody all the important themes of the 20th century. Using new sources, he casts a fresh glance over the life and work of Chaplin. At the same time, ‘The Age of Charlie Chaplin’ is a phenomenal cultural history of a turbulent period that defines our worldview to this very day.

  • Cover Andalusian Logbook
    Cover Andalusian Logbook
    Andalusian Journal
    He embodies his perspective, which is analytic and constantly eager to learn
    NRC Handelsblad

    Forgotten celebrities, hidden masterpieces and unique areas of nature. This logbook is a colourful collection of notes and impressions, experiences and stories about the nature, culture, history and people of Andalusia.

    With the inquisitive gaze that characterises all his works, Stefan Brijs takes a first look at the riches of his new home port.

  • Jihad van liefde
    Jihad van liefde
    A Jihad for Love
    A passionate plea against hate, thirst for revenge and the urge for destruction
    De Volkskrant

    El Bachiri transforms the pain he suffered into a message of love and humanity, in which he appeals to western Muslims for a more humanist approach to Islam. ‘A Jihad for Love’ is the answer to the hatred of those who wish to divide us, of those who propagate violence and terrorism. 

  • Cover Beyond the Borders
    Cover Beyond the Borders
    Beyond the Borders
    ‘Beyond the Borders’ reads like an ode to the unfathomability of human relationships.
    De Standaard

    'Beyond the Borders’ is an account of Meulemans' fascinating literary pilgrimage, digging into the history of  the American author Glenway Wescott (1901-1987). Right from the very first page this book whisks the reader away to a now-forgotten literary and artistic world in America before and after the Second World War. Gradually, the lives of Meulemans and Wescott become ever more intertwined. Is friendship beyond death possible?

  • Cover Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    Cover Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    With his talent for well-balanced, focused writing, De Moor now occupies an unrivalled position within Dutch-language literature.
    Knack

    How did the Nazis poison the bustling life of the city? Which communist absurdities were the residents of East Berlin confronted with in the GDR? How did the city transform after ‘die Wende’?

    In ‘Berlin. Life in a Divided City’, Piet de Moor goes in search of the soul of the mythical metropolis, a city that suffered like no other during the violent history of the 20th century. The result is an informative and kaleidoscopic book that is truly worth reading.

  • Cover The Spill
    Cover The Spill

    ‘The Spill’ tells the story of five guys who meet by chance over the course of a few years. All five have a single goal: racing, or a career as a professional cyclist to be precise. On the towpath along the river Scheldt, from Ghent to Oudenaarde, they train together: Iljo Keisse, Wouter Weylandt, Dimitri De Fauw, Bert De Backer and Kurt Hovelijnck. Young, virile and popular, they do indeed manage to become professional cyclists. But life is harder than the dream. What once brought them together, racing, just as ruthlessly tears them apart again.

  • Cover The End of The World
    Cover The End of The World
    The End of the World. A History
    Stroeykens, a physicist at heart, has thought of everything.
    KIJK Magazine

    What might the end of the world really look like? Should we be worried about the climate, mutating viruses, artificial intelligence and asteroid impacts? Or is that fear just as irrational as that of the medieval cultists who constantly expected another biblical flood to wash away the world?

    ‘The End of the World’ is a fascinating history of catastrophes, fears and nightmares.

  • Cover Late Days
    Cover Late Days
    Late Days
    Dewulf’s writing succeeds in making the mundane new again.
    Trouw

    No matter what Bernard writes about, he sees the world like a photographer, and analyses each moment in a unique, almost philosophical way. These ‘Late Days’ are marked by melancholy, as parenting increasingly makes way for ticking time.

  • Cover Why Everyone is Always Right
    Cover Why Everyone is Always Right
    Why Everyone is Always Right
    ‘I finally understand why my opponents find it so hard to admit that they are wrong’
    Stand-up comedian Wouter Deprez

    Why do we so often see two camps emerge that are both convinced they have a monopoly on wisdom? Why do we so love to dig ourselves into the trenches of our own rightness? ‘Why Everyone is Always Right’ is the ideal book to give us more insight into the eccentricities of the human spirit.

  • Bloodrush
    An original and refreshing study that does not shrink from taking the shine off some well-worn symbolism.
    IFILOSOFIE

    In this well-documented narrative account, with reference to personal experiences, religious traditions, Western literature and philosophy, cultural, technological and scientific developments, Jan Verplaetse looks for answers to the question of why blood fascinates us, yet instils revulsion in us at the same time.

  • Cover Restlessness
    Cover Restlessness
    Restlessness
    Devisch extends to us something we can grasp in order to pull ourselves out of the morass.
    Knack

    Anyone who thinks restlessness is a phenomenon specific to our own times is mistaken. For centuries people have sought a solution to a problem of which they themselves are the cause: an excessively full life. But is restlessness really a problem or one of our primary motivations?

  • Cover Pieter Bruegel
    Cover Pieter Bruegel
    Pieter Bruegel
    Huet’s writing is quite simply superb: elegant, colourful, lively, with great feeling for detail, witty and never condescending.
    Kees 't Hart

    Of all the art of the Flemish School, the work of Pieter Bruegel (1525?-1569) seems most typical of the Low Countries. His familiar and much loved paintings turned him into a folkloric icon, even if that does not entirely square with his life story. Leen Huet has written the first proper biography of the sixteenth-century master.

  • Cover Zinc
    Cover Zinc
    Zinc
    His trademark has become a personal, erudite and stirring form of history writing.
    Vrij Nederland

    For more than a century, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany shared a neighbour, Neutral Moresnet, a completely forgotten mini-state that is now part of German-speaking Belgium.

  • Cover Seeking Untruth
    Cover Seeking Untruth
    Seeking Untruth
    Does anyone seriously think 'theology' is a real subject? See Maarten Boudry’s wonderfully scathing Sokal-style hoax.
    Richard Dawkins

    Can we survive without illusions? Sure, nobody wants to live in a fiction, but truth can be hurtful or unsettling. Then is it not allowed to bend the truth a little once in a while? Maarten Boudry will have none of it.

  • Cover The Demons of Leonard Cohen
    Cover The Demons of Leonard Cohen
    The Demons of Leonard Cohen
    Francis Mus displays an expertise not seen before by Cohen’s Canadian critics.
    Brian Trehearne

    Authority on Cohen Francis Mus portrays the real Cohen and his recurring demons. He searched for and found ‘Cohen pieces’ that never have been written about. This book offers a unique view into Leonard Cohen’s soul.

  • Cover Dubious Matters
    Cover Dubious Matters
    Dubious Matters
    Cultural products marked as obscene always also make food for thought
    Rudi Laermans

    The obscene in this book refers to more than only the sexually offensive: the forbidden generates fear and contains a mixture of fear and lust.

  • Cover The Johad Caravan
    Cover The Johad Caravan
    The Jihad Caravan
    It brings the reader closer to the origins and the reality of armed jihad than most of the analyses.
    MO* Magazine

    Together AlDe’emeh and Stockmans travel to Zarqa in Jordan, the cradle of international jihad and  AlDe’emeh’s birthplace in a refugee camp. They returned with surreal stories that make this book unforgettable.

  • Cover Authority
    Cover Authority
    Authority
    His argument for a collective authority is inspired and well-founded, but also provocative and utopian.
    Humo

    Verhaeghe seeks and finds a new interpretation in groups, which lend authority to an individual or an institution, whether they be parents’ associations, groups of active citizens or shareholders’ meetings.

  • Cover This Is My Farm
    Cover This Is My Farm
    This Is My Farm
    A disconcerting, important, humble book
    David Van Reybrouck

    The Hedwige Polder, the most famous stretch of reclaimed land in the Belgian lowlands, is to be flooded again no matter what. It has become symbolic of old farmland forced to make way for new nature reserves.

  • Cover Raptures
    Cover Raptures
    Raptures
    With Dewulf, profundity is right on the surface. For anyone taking the trouble to look closely, it is deep enough.
    Libris Literature Prize jury

    'Raptures' is a comprehensive collection of published pieces by this talented observer. He aims to describe in an accessible way the enchantment he feels when looking at paintings, drawings and photographs, whether by contemporaries or old masters, or indeed at the ever-changing fortunes of his family environment.

  • Cover Perfectly Tailored
    Cover Perfectly Tailored
    Perfectly Tailored
    In Lauwaert’s hands the essay has found an innovator
    Koen Brams

    'Perfectly Tailored' is a collection of Dirk Lauwaert’s most important writings about fashion, clothing and film costumes. He writes just as brilliantly about the hilarious aspects of a pattern as about the impudence of Helmut Newton, or about the ethereal Audrey Hepburn in a Givenchy twopiece.

  • Cover Organ Man
    Cover Organ Man
    Organ Man
    Words fail me. This is a book you will never forget.
    Geert Mak

    If there was ever a man who rose from the ashes like a phoenix then it was the painter Felix Nussbaum. Mark Schaevers follows Nussbaum on his wanderings through the Nazi years, from Rome to the Italian Riviera, from Paris to Ostend and Brussels.

  • Cover Napoleon
    Cover Napoleon
    Napoleon
    Narrative history of the most fascinating kind.
    Knack

    The French Revolution and Napoleon: two epic, captivating tales from western history brought together in a vibrant and compelling narrative.

  • Cover Love: An Impossible Longing?
    Illustrated in colour
    Cover Love: An Impossible Longing?
    Illustrated in colour
    Love: An Impossible Longing?
    We live in the illusion we can buy anything. Also love.
    Dirk De Wachter

    'Love: An Impossible Longing?' is a plea to take love as it comes and behave naturally. Only then, by not forcing something, love can appear gloriously.

  • Cover Grand Central Belge
    Cover Grand Central Belge
    Grand Central Belge
    Verbeken brings back to life the era of the great expectations
    De Volkskrant

    Pascal Verbeken registers the small and the large signs of the times. He listens to a multicoloured collection of Belgians and their unique, sometimes tragic stories. ‘Grand Central Belge’ is a requiem for a divided country that does not succeed in chasing its old demons away.

  • Cover The Comfort of Beauty
    Cover The Comfort of Beauty
    The Comfort of Beauty
    A perfectly accomplished anthology of moving testimonies from literary and other sources.
    Biblion

    In deeply personal letters, displaying an impressive knowledge of the subject, Piet Chielens and his brother Wim correspond about the war poems of John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and many other soldiers who fought in Flanders Fields and found comfort in writing poetry.

  • Cover Ex. About a Country Gone Missing
    Cover Ex. About a Country Gone Missing
    Ex. About a Country Gone Missing
    A beautifully written travel story, a political history and a philosophical meditation
    De correspondent

    In a very poetic style and with a keen eye for the unexpected detail, Peter Vermeersch wrote a compelling literary narrative about the post-war experience in former Yugoslavia.

  • Cover Beyond Democracy
    Cover Beyond Democracy
    Beyond Democracy
    Lucid, captivating, no breaking news but breaking insights
    Humo

    In 'Beyond Democracy' Luc Huyse analyses in a clearly structured exposé society to the core. Modern society has no segment left in which the market and market logic have not taken over.

  • Cover The Limits of the Market
    Cover The Limits of the Market
    The Limits of the Market
    Nobody has taught me as much about the euro crisis as Paul De Grauwe.
    Paul Krugman

    Do the financial crisis and the growing inequality create a new balance of power between the free market and the government? Are we witnessing a turnover of capitalism and does the government take over again?

  • Cover The Power of Paradise
    Cover The Power of Paradise
    The Power of Paradise
    Provocative and elegant, visionary and stylish. This European dares to tell the hard truths.
    Chief Geopolitical Analyst for Stratfor

    We, as Europeans, feel as if the future passes right by us. The crisis rages over our continent like a storm and dismantles all our certainties. Are the fundaments of Europe crumbling? And do we actually understand what is going on?

  • Cover On the Wings of the Dragon
    Cover On the Wings of the Dragon
    On The Wings of the Dragon
    Much is currently being written about the Chinese exploitation of Africa, but who is writing about the price China pays? The answer: Lieve Joris, and brilliantly, too.
    NRC Handelsblad

    What happens when people meet who do not share a colonial past? With that question in mind, Lieve Joris leaves Africa for China. In keeping with the modus operandi she has refined over past decades, she immerses herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who venture into each other’s territory in the slipstream of the big trade contracts.

  • Cover The Age of Brussels
    Cover The Age of Brussels
    The Age of Brussels
    An effervescent portrait of the artistically and politically foaming city Brussels was between 1850 and 1914.
    Cobra.be

    Refugees and adventurers, thinkers and doers, finders and inventors washed ashore in this elegant city where life was good - ask Baudelaire, Marx, Rodin, Ensor, Multatuli and all those others, read it in the writings of Teirlinck or Van de Woestijne.

  • Cover A Paradise Blown Out of the Storm
    Cover A Paradise Blown Out of the Storm
    A Paradise Blown Out of the Storm
    Decreus’ critical discussion of dominant market thinking in our depoliticized society is clever and provocative.
    Politiek en Samenleving

    Decreus sets out to subject the current political establishment to fierce criticism. He unmasks representative democracy as in truth an aristocracy and points to the incompatibility of the democratic ideal with the premises of neoliberal policies and market thinking.

  • Cover Against Elections
    Cover Against Elections
    Against Elections
    Van Reybrouck manages to convince the reader that drawing lots would be an effective way to breathe new life into our enfeebled democracy.
    Henriette Roland-Holst Prize jury

    Van Reybrouck argues with crystal clarity that drawing lots would be an effective way to revitalize our enfeebled democracy and ensure that citizens participate once more in the social structures that shape them and their lives.

  • Cover The Naked Peartree
    Cover The Naked Peartree
    The Naked Peartree
    This book lifts Rotthier into the upper echelons of our authors.
    Humo

    Rotthier visits every place in which Spinoza lived and examines the impact on the present-day Netherlands of his vision of a rational society.

  • Cover Rebellious Rhythms
    Cover Rebellious Rhythms
    Rebel Rhythms
    A gorgeous voyage of discovery
    Bert Van Raemdonck

    No better soundtrack for a political and cultural history of the twentieth century than jazz. In 'Rebellious Rhythms' Matthijs de Ridder starts on a hazardous search through an age of jazz and jazzy literature.

  • Cover Identity
    Cover Identity
    Identity
    His argument is lucid, eloquent and compelling, and easy to follow, even for laypersons.
    Athenaeum Bookstore

    Based on his clinical experience as a psychotherapist, Verhaeghe shows how our changing society works through into the psychological problems that afflict individuals today.

  • Cover France Trilogy
    Cover France Trilogy
    France Trilogy
    An impassioned literary pilgrim
    NRC Handelsblad

    The 'France Trilogy' is a tribute to literature and an original ode to the most important of life’s pleasures.

  • Cover Borderline Times
    Cover Borderline Times
    Borderline Times
    An eye-opener for everyone who thinks he/she is normal and that only others suffer psychologically.
    Yves Desmet

    In 'Borderline Times' Dirk De Wachter describes how the nine symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are present in all of us. His diagnosis upon observing our society is: ‘borderline’.

  • Cover About the Friend
    Cover About the Friend
    About the Friend
    Few authors combine that much knowledge with such a pleasant and accessible style.
    Erik Lindner

    Using images and texts taken from literature, philosophy, art, the internet and popular culture, Piet Joostens goes in search of the figure of the friend and how it relates to friendship.

  • Cover Love in a Time of Loneliness
    Cover Love in a Time of Loneliness
    Love in a Time of Loneliness
    The book is both entertaining and intellectually challenging.
    Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

    Verhaeghe looks into the differences between male and female sexual fantasies and recasts the Freudian anti­thesis, Eros and Thanatos, as a contrast between two different forms of sexual pleasure.

  • Cover Leopold I
    Cover Leopold I
    Leopold I
    She succeeds in making the first king of the Belgians a man of flesh and blood.
    Erwin Mortier

    Based on Leopold’s private letters, Gita Deneckere paints a portrait of a melancholy ruler who managed like no other to weave together the personal and the political. Through his eyes she examines the history of Europe in a period of change.

  • Cover Darwin in the Supermarket
    Cover Darwin in the Supermarket
    Darwin in the Supermarket
    Fluid and clear, the author’s approach is didactic yet never pedantic.
    De Standaard

    The author continually speaks to his readers and integrates their responses into his text by concurring with or contradicting them. This rhetorical strategy makes what he writes all the more convincing.

  • Cover Chanson
    Cover Chanson
    Chanson
    An ambitious and harmonious get together of touristic guide, history lesson and good stories.
    Radio 1

    Bart Van Loo’s declaration of intent opens a highly original and enjoyable alternative history of France in the light of French chansons. By combining an erudite knowledge of French music and historical facts Bart Van Loo constructs fascinating and unexpected connections.

  • Cover The Mobilization of Arcadia
    Cover The Mobilization of Arcadia
    The Mobilization of Arcadia
    A thoroughly impressive book.
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    The theme that unites all the essays in ‘The Mobilization of Arcadia’ is our romantic and Christian longing for Arcadia, an imaginary place that acquired a new meaning with the arrival of modernity.

  • Cover Peace Be With You, Sister
    Cover Peace Be With You, Sister
    Peace Be With You, Sister
    A book and a study of a kind of which there are all too few
    De Standaard

    ‘Peace Be With You, Sister’ is the story of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian who became the first and only Western woman to carry out a suicide attack. She drove her white Mercedes from Brussels to Baghdad in order to blow herself up in the name of Allah.

  • Cover Darwin's Notebooks
    Cover Darwin's Notebooks
    Darwin's Notebooks
    A supremely readable book on Darwin’s field notebooks, pocket notebooks, diaries, letters, and sketches.
    NRC Handelsblad

    In a vivid way, Dirk Van Hulle tells us how Darwin was strongly influenced by poets and writers from the Romantic period: Wordsworth, Shelley, and through them, Milton and his 'Paradise lost'.

  • Cover Congo
    Cover Congo
    Congo
    Sublime, monumental, virtuoso. This literary non-fiction is more thrilling than a novel.
    NRC Handelsblad

    Like many Belgians of his generation, David Van Reybrouck knew Congo from stories of the old days. The author begins his gripping account in the 1870s and chronicles the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras, right up to 2010, the fiftieth anniversary of Congolese Independence.

  • Cover Small Days
    Cover Small Days
    Small Days
    Fascinating depiction of the evolution of society through one family [...] a stylistic crown jewel.
    JURY REPORT, LIBRIS LITERATURE PRIZE

    'Small Days' is a unique poetic diary of daily life, evoking affection and admiration in equal measure. How wonderful it must be for his children to see their childhood recorded so well by a loving author father! But this personal experience is made universally recognisable and Dewulf’s prose is striking for its subdued tone, its beautiful metaphors and its natural lyricism.

  • Cover The End of Psychotherapy
    Cover The End of Psychotherapy
    The End of Psychotherapy
    Heartfelt, provocative and controversial
    HP/De Tijd

    Are we experiencing the dying throes of psychotherapy? Is Freud finished for good? Following a line of reasoning as subtle as it is logically necessary, Paul Verhaeghe shows how psychotherapy and the psychiatric profession have lost ground due to the combined effect of pseudo-scientific psychology and the corruptive influence of the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Cover Beethoven
    Cover Beethoven
    Beethoven
    An outstanding achievement
    Vrij Nederland

    This biography will appeal to a broad audience of music lovers and to anyone interested in cultural history.

  • Cover Russia's Fortune
    Cover Russia's Fortune
    Russia’s Fortune. A Journey to the Loneliest People on Earth
    An impressive collection of travelogues
    Geert Mak

    When Johan De Boose packs his bags, readers know they are in for a treat. Russia’s Fortune takes him to the heart of his first love. Given that De Boose is both a romantic and a sceptic, he manages to find a perfect balance between unconditional enthusiasm and sober observation. De Boose never flinches from asking questions about himself either. Could his passion for Russia have anything to do with a predilection for tragedy and suffering?

     

     

  • Cover James Ensor
    Cover James Ensor
    James Ensor
    A magnificent style – scholarly but vivid and punchy
    Ons Brussel

    James Ensor (1860–1949) was everything in one: cocky and solitary, baron and bohemian, a misunderstood bourgeois, a peintre maudit who surveyed the world from his ivory tower in Ostend and sought refuge in the salons of Brussels. Min peels away the mask of the mythmaker to create a wonderful portrait of this enigmatic and multi-faceted painter.

  • Cover Europe, Oh Europe!
    Cover Europe, Oh Europe!
    Europe, Oh Europe!
    Buelens has written a brilliant and accessible book about the hyperbole of the Great War.
    De Volkskrant

    In' Europe, oh Europe!' Buelens describes how Europe was shooting itself to pieces while desperately seeking a new identity. It is a book about the destructive and healing power of the word, a chunk of lively cultural history and a meditation on nationalism and international cooperation.

  • Cover The High Planes
    Cover The High Planes
    The High Plains
    Journalism, only better than that; the literature of reality
    Liberation

    They walk from market to market, sleeping in huts and schools, but gradually the power of the colonel starts to decline and the guide becomes increasingly insecure. The ancient landscape brings back powerful memories of Joris’ childhood village.

  • Cover The History of the World of Tomorrow
    Cover The History of the World of Tomorrow
    The History of the World of Tomorrow
    The clear prose offers a broad readership a reassuring perspective on a confusing time.
    De Standaard

    These turbulent times represent an enormous challenge to all of us, the world over. New questions that lack clear answers are making many people feel insecure. But fear is a poor counsellor.

  • Cover The Rebels' Hour
    Cover The Rebels' Hour
    The Rebels' Hour
    A book that seems to have been written with a video camera on the shoulder
    L'Express

    Lieve Joris has written a lot about the African Congo. In The Rebels’ Hour, she chose the genre of faction to let the reader experience the complexity of human tragedy in what is called the African First World War.

  • Cover Back to the Congo
    Cover Back to the Congo
    Back to the Congo
    So evocative that it’s as if you have actually set out in the company of Lieve Joris.
    Nieuwsblad van het Noorden

    Fascinated since childhood by the stories of her great-uncle, a missionary in the Congo, Lieve Joris travelled to Africa in his footsteps in 1985. Back to the Congo tells of her search for the old Congo of the Catholic fathers, and for the Zaire of the ubiquitous President Mobutu.

  • Cover Psychogenocide
    Cover Psychogenocide
    Psychogenocide
    A terribly beautiful book
    Paul Verhaeghe

    On October 1st 1939, the day World War II started, Hitler permitted doctors to kill patients suffering from neurologic and psychiatric disorders. This was the start of Aktion T4, the systematic and industrial killing of handicapped and mentally ill people.

  • Cover The Belgian Labyrinth
    Cover The Belgian Labyrinth
    The Belgian Labyrinth
    A coup de coeur
    Critiqueslibres.com

    In ‘The Belgian Labyrinth’ Van Istendael guides his readers through the history of Belgium, from the hunting parties of Emperor Charlemagne through Spanish, Austrian, French and Dutch rule to the creation of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830.

  • Tuesday Land. Sketches of Belgium
    16 incisive observations by a stylistically strong writer who holds his readers’ attention with a great sense of timing and narrative skill
    De Tijd

    A declaration of love to the Belgian in the street, wonder at his pastimes, an ode to his beautiful, but archaic turns of phrase. And also: a deliberately fragmented narrative about a Belgian childhood, a chronicling of the things that pass. All this Verhulst describes, ponders and pokes fun at in his unique and inimitable style: fluent and smooth, incisive and ironic, as well as over-the-top and hilarious, but never without compassion.

  • 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 The Leopard's Dance
    Cover The Leopard's Dance
    The Leopard's Dance
    Travel writing doesn’t get much better than this.
    New York Times Book Review

    All the problems of post-colonial Africa seem to rage there in exaggerated form. Ten years after her highly praised 'Back to the Congo', Lieve Joris was brave enough to return during a particularly precarious moment in Congolese history.

  • Cover Intercities
    Cover Intercities
    Intercities
    The great charm of this book lies in its explosive mix of opinion and storytelling.
    El Pais

    The result is a beautiful balance between intellectual understanding and personal impressions. His great strength is his ability to keep his eyes open in all circumstances and to surprise himself with the realization that ‘travelling often turns out to be a process of finding what you weren’t looking for’.

  • Cover A Longing for Inconsolability
    Cover A Longing for Inconsolability
    A Longing for Inconsolability
    She is the only philosopher writing in Dutch who can make philosophy not just nonacademic and understandable but moving.
    Herman De Coninck

    The great value of Patricia De Martelaere's essays ultimately lies in what makes them rise above philosophical debate. Whereas philosophers like to make readers furrow their brows as deeply as possible, the author excels at laying out a clear line of argument, avoiding jargon and applying convincing logic.