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All about love

Countless works of art, songs and books expore the mystery of love. Passionate love, calm love, unrequited love, forbidden love, broken hearts. Sometimes there is a happy ever after in the stories, but much more often love is also a source of worries and sorrows. And we love to read about that.

Below you will find a selection of books from Flanders that explore love in very different ways. No doubt there is a title in this list that will steal your heart. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to find out more about these books and authors. We'd love to help you.

  • 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 of Intimacy
    Cover of Intimacy
    This book is not about sex.
    Psychologie Magazine

    An intimate love relationship makes people happy, but why is it so hard to find let alone maintain? In this book Paul Verhaeghe offers a different take on intimacy.

  • Cover Me & You
    Cover Me & You
    Me & You
    Bold and intelligent

    What is love? Is it still possible in this day and age to go through life as a couple? This exuberant and multifaceted piece that deliberately unsettles the reader offers the authors' destabilising, crazy and brilliant take on those universal questions.

  • Cover Fifteen Wild Summers
    Cover Fifteen Wild Summers
    Fifteen Wild Summers
    Poetic, vivid and full of harmonious images
    Die Zeit

    Thomas is dead, but three people can still see him: his inconsolable mother, his beloved Orphee and his dying grandfather. De Leeuw writes highly sensitive, keen prose with poignant images, and is painfully honest in showing that damaged, lonely people can be unreasonable and unkind, and that love can be an immense burden.

  • 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 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 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 Paradise
    Cover Paradise
    A literary and richly layered picture book.
    Het belang van Limburg

    Adam believes it’s his job to keep everything in the Garden of Eden, where he lives with Eve, in good order – to curb nature, that is. Eve is beginning to sigh more and she’s taking less pleasure in life. Keen to do something about it, Adam yields to Eve’s fatigue and stops his maintenance work. From then on, everything is allowed to grow rampant.

  • 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 The Year of the Dog
    Cover The Year of the Dog
    The Year of the Dog
    222 beautifully worded pages - Brijs pushes his boundaries as a writer.
    Het Belang van Limburg

    ‘The Year of the Dog’ is a scintillating, often harrowing novel about love, lust, betrayal and the (im)possibility of close friendship between a man and a woman. It is Brijs’ very own version of ‘When Harry met Sally’.

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

    ‘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 - Dance by the Light of the Moon
    Cover - Dance by the Light of the Moon
    Dance by the Light of the Moon
    A powerful look into the complexities of the human heart and prejudice *****
    Comic Heroes Magazine

    An enjoyable, flowing and exceptionally readable graphic novel about the author’s relationship with a Togolese political refugee. The story consists of two parts, in which we see the same relationship from two different perspectives. The visual narrative is vivid and follows a rhythm that matches the story perfectly.

  • 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 Bernie & Flora
    Cover Bernie & Flora
    Bernie & Flora
    A warm story you can relate to, skilfully written and illustrated
    De Bond

    Bernie and Flora are a bear and a duck who like the same things and have been friends for years. A series of four books describes their adventures together. The books are an ode to friendship and love, and they also show how both characters need to have respect for each other’s individuality.

  • Cover - We two Boys
    Cover - We two Boys
    We Two Boys
    Masterful. Brilliantly evokes an important historical period
    De Leeswelp

    ‘We Two Boys’ begins in 1910 when the Flemish family De Belder is getting ready for their new future in the promised land, the United States of America. Eventually it is only the young Adrian, however, who makes it all the way to New York. Aline Sax sketches a lively and convincing portrait of New York City.

  • Cover This Is Everlasting
    Cover This Is Everlasting
    This Is Everlasting
    Every image has an unspoken meaning that lends tension to the story.
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    In a story imbued with the scent of cheap cigarettes and the sound of accordions and jukeboxes, André Sollie depicts a teenage boy’s overwhelming longing and the sadness of his surroundings. This is a sensitive and touching coming-of-age novel about a boy in search of love, affirmation and support.

  • Cover - The Big Question
    Cover - The Big Question
    The Big Question
    Impressive illustrations
    De Standaard

    Like every year, everyone gathers on the top of the hill. Ant is very happy that it is finally her turn to chair the meeting, in which they will discuss a difficult question. Elephant asks how you know that you love someone.

  • Cover of Who's Afraid?
    Cover of Who's Afraid?
    Who's Afraid?
    A ferociously good performance
    De Volkskrant

    An elderly acting couple take stock of their love for each other and for their profession. All their productions are flops except one: a popular repertory classic about a pair of swearing and hard-drinking intellectuals that brings in money and audiences.

  • Cover Flou
    Cover Flou
    A gem in every respect
    De Volkskrant

    A woman and a man are standing side by side onstage; in the background the remnants of their living room, cold and bare. Side by side, but not together, they stare into space. Is there not a spark of love or passion left?

  • 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 Songs
    Cover Songs
    Inspired poems that stand the ravages of time
    De Standaard

    Hadewijch's Songs are the beating heart of Dutch-language  literature. This mystic was the first woman in Europe to have dared to sing of mystical love in pure love poetry. Hadewijch created with astounding mastery and linguistic skill a mysticism of desire.