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Autumn 2022

Oh yes, it is autumn. That means the leaves are falling from the trees, and beautiful books landed on our desks. Discover the titles we will be talking about at the Frankfurter Buchmesse #fbm2022. Feel free to browse around while we start preparing our suitcases!

  • Cover 'Atan of Kea'
    Cover 'Atan of Kea'
    Atan of Kea
    One of the strongest visual artists in Flanders and beyond.*****
    De Standaard on ‘The Whale Library’

    The Cyclades, five thousand years ago. Atan has an extraordinary gift for modelling clay. During his training as a sculptor, the boy is forced to abandon his creativity to concentrate on skill and technique, until his master recognises that Atan’s muse must not be silenced. 'Atan of Kea' is a touching and intimate story, that proves, yet again, that Vanistendael is a peerless story-teller.

  • Bodies
    'Bodies' is one of the best things Verhelst has written.

    A man leaves on a voyage of discovery to forbidden territory. He roams a post-apocalyptic no man’s land, in which nature seems to have defeated humankind. ‘Bodies’ reads like a meeting between personal and global trauma, perhaps the result of climate change. Verhelst forces the reader to reflect upon all that we are in danger of losing. More than a dystopian tale, ‘Bodies’ is an ode to language, the imagination and the telling of stories.

  • Cover 'Bungalow 5'
    Cover 'Bungalow 5'
    Bungalow 5
    A high-class adaptation
    Knack on ‘Madame Catherine’

    In 1950s Hollywood, Newland Archer and May Welland are the glamour couple du jour. But Newland soon discovers that he’s not entirely immune to the charms of one of May's male friends. With ‘Bungalow 5’, Maarten Vande Wiele breathes new life into ‘The Age of Innocence’ by Edith Wharton. 

  • Cover 'Daughter of Doom'
    Cover 'Daughter of Doom'
    Daughter of Doom
    A compelling historical adventure full of exciting, filmic scenes. Van Rijckeghem proves yet again that he’s one of the best writers in the genre.

    Denmark, 870 AD. Yrsa is a tough Viking girl with a club foot who won’t let herself be pushed around. She is tasked with looking after a Christian hostage, but the two girls and everything they believe in couldn’t be more different. ‘Daughter of Doom’ is a cinematic adventure novel in which two women hold their own at a time when this was anything but a given. A remarkable book about fate, faith and free will, in vivid language.

  • Cover 'Dry Clean'
    Cover 'Dry Clean'
    Dry Clean
    A delightfully designed period thriller that can both speak to a broad public and a connoisseur of graphic novels

    François is a driver for a dry-cleaning business. When he suddenly comes upon a gruesome scene and spots a chance to grab a bagful of money, it proves his downfall. In panoramic spreads that highlight faded glory, Joris Mertens creates a universe all his own. Its noir atmosphere is offset by the tragicomic aspect that Mertens has given his antihero. A beautifully crafted graphic novel.

  • De huisvriend
    De huisvriend
    Friend of the Family
    Debruyne has written one of the most interesting autobiographical novels of the year.

    Heleen Debruyne was inspired to write ‘Friend of the Family’ after reading her grandparents’ letters and diaries. While pregnant with her first child, she immersed herself in an unsavoury family story that had been glossed over. She discovered how and why her father was deliberately entrusted to a friend of the family called Albert, Bertie to his friends, a rich homosexual. Debruyne intersperses the story with essayistic passages in which she contemplates motherly love and shifting beliefs about sexuality, love and intimacy. 

  • Cover 'From Looking Came Seeing'
    Cover 'From Looking Came Seeing'
    From Looking Came Seeing
    A collaboration between two gifted artists which resulted in a magnificent picture book.

    Right from the very first sentence, ‘From Looking Came Seeing’ submerges the reader in the sense of loss felt by a woman whose husband has gone from her life for ever. Godon, with characteristic brilliance, portrays the loneliness, emptiness or aimlessness that his departure brings with it. In a soft, carefully considered palette, she closes down and opens out the woman’s world.  Without doubt both a homage and an invitation to the human gaze.

  • Half Life
    Half Life
    Half a Life
    Tenderly and mercilessly, Sabi gives voice to three generations in a breath-taking novelistic debut.
    De Morgen

    In this family chronicle that takes the reader from sunny Casablanca to the chilly Netherlands, three women of different generations speak to us. From these three perspectives, each with its own narrative register, ‘Half a Life’ investigates the problem of how to live as a (Moroccan) woman, mother, daughter, grandmother, wife, widow and loved one. With love and empathy, Sabi portrays the lives of the women who have gone before her.

  • Hildeke
    A warm and humorous family portrait that’s brimming with love.
    ZIN Magazine

    Lieve Joris is an internationally renowned writer of non-fiction books about the Arab world, Africa, Eastern Europe and China. After writing about her much-admired and maligned brother Fonny in ‘Return to Neerpelt’, she revisits her family history in ‘Hildeke’. Her parents’ growing care needs pull her back to the Flanders of her youth: the mother she barely knew and the difficult father who was preoccupied with his prodigal son and who goes by the nickname ‘The Creator’.

  • I, Cartographer
    I, Cartographer
    I, Cartographer
    This is a major work by Jeroen Theunissen, one of our best wordsmiths. Impressive.
    David Van Reybroeck

    When he was around twenty, Jeroen Theunissen came across a map of Europe in a travel agency, with thick purple lines marking long-distance hikes. When, many years later, the writer starts suffering from anxiety attacks and depression and feels melancholic and trapped in an unhappy marriage, he leaves everything and everyone behind, including his two children, and embarks on a six-month walk from Southwest Ireland to the Bosporus Strait.

  • I Never Win Anything
    I Never Win Anything
    I Never Win Anything
    Instant fun. A perfect holiday read.
    De Morgen

    Nelle is a dreamer. She likes school, but Mr Bart less so. In turn, the school teacher isn’t crazy about children. Nelle’s parents don’t have a lot of money, but by chance Nelle is able to buy a ticket for the school raffle. The most incredible thing happens: Nelle wins the first prize, a trip to a sun-drenched island for her and her parents.

  • Listen
    His new book ‘Listen’ cracks open your listening habits
    Knack Focus

    Did you ever listen to Hindustani Dhrupad music, a Gisalo from Papua New Guinea or the chants of the Blackfoot people? Does it mean anything to you to listen to a piece of music that lasts 639 years? Followed by the noise experiments of Maso Yamazaki? Or do you think that this is not music?

  • Nature Starts Here
    Nature Starts Here
    Nature Starts Here
    … mini celebrations of the wonders of nature
    De Morgen

    In her latest book, Caro Van Thuyne draws on her unique voice to address another theme that’s close to her heart: the natural world. Some time ago, Caro withdrew from hectic urban life and moved to Houtland, near the Flemish coast. There she lives and writes surrounded by nature.

  • Cover 'Morris'
    Cover 'Morris'
    A literary masterpiece. ‘Morris’ is Moeyaert at his best.
    De Standaard

    Morris climbs a mountain to fetch his grandmother's dog safely home for the hundredth time when a snowstorm catches them by surprise. Moeyaert depicts Morris, with masterly precision, as a loner who carries sadness within him and at the same time – almost to his own surprise – doesn’t let anyone mess him about. Sebastiaan Van Doninck's illustrations bring warmth and colour into the snow-white cold of the story.

  • New edition 2022
    New edition 2022
    Peasant Psalm
    The most beautiful ode to rural life ever written in the Dutch language
    De Standaard

    Farmer Wortel recounts the story of his life: his connection to the soil which he works, his relationship with God (and pastor), and his natural acceptance of his and his family’s fate. The story, written in the first person, echoes with this simple man’s love for life.

  • Saved!
    Saved! is a compelling picture book, full of beautiful details, which invites our imagination to examine the effects of global warming. ****
    NRC Handelsblad

    Arend is born in a nest on an ice floe. The sun never sets there, which at first Arend finds rather pleasant. But then the ice melts and the nest slides into the cold sea. Arend acknowledges defeat. He takes to the air, spreads his wings and lets the wind carry him along. From the sky, however, Arend can see that the water is rising. Soon all the animals will drown, he thinks. Somebody must do something, but who?

  • Shakespeare Knows Me Better Than My Boyfriend
    Shakespeare Knows Me Better Than My Boyfriend
    Shakespeare Knows Me Better Than My Boyfriend
    An entertaining excursion into the extraordinary world of English-language literature

    'Even today, most of those who talk about literature are elderly white professors. We must introduce new perspectives, fresh views of the classics. We urgently need to make literature more accessible, so that the canon will change from the outside,’ claimed Ibe Rossel in a popular podcast. With her nonfiction debut she has acted on her own advice. Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and George Eliot are great names in English literature, but for many readers they amount to no more than a distant memory of English lessons. After all, what does a dead author have to offer us today?

  • Cover 'The Churchgoers'
    Cover 'The Churchgoers'
    The Churchgoers
    A book to cherish. A highpoint of the year

    In this moving and sometimes funny dual coming-of-age story, Ben Gijsemans presents us with extraordinary page compositions that offer a wonderful insight into the relationship between Harold and Carl. The two brothers want only the best for each other, but burgeoning hormones disturb the harmony between them. A magnificent portrayal of the tension between child and adolescent in the 1990s.

  • Cover 'The Confessions of Dragon Dragon'
    Cover 'The Confessions of Dragon Dragon'
    The Confessions of Dragon Dragon
    Pure, unadulterated fun
    9e Kunst

    1792. Pierre-Marie Dragon is a mounted infantryman in the French revolutionary army. With this character, Juncker and Spruyt lift the anti-hero to an entirely new level. Oversexed, arrogant and gutless yet full of himself, Dragon Dragon is the undisputed star of this grotesque, picaresque narrative. 

  • The Event
    You don’t need metaphorical excesses when you can write like Peter Terrin. *****
    NRC Handelsblad

    'The Event’ is a masterful frame story in which tales of love, loss and growing older subtly flow into one another. At the centre are Willem, a bestselling author, and Juliette, his assistant. The writer has become almost blind towards the end of his life and he dictates his novels to Juliette. After his death, Willem leaves the recordings for his final novel to his beloved assistant, along with the task of finishing the book. Following its publication, Femke, Willem’s young wife, takes Juliette to court. Willem has the final word, after his consciousness is digitally reproduced by scientists.

  • The Monster Lake
    The Monster Lake
    The Monster Lake
    Another gorgeous Timmers spectacle, full of captivating details.
    De Morgen

    Four ducks get bored of their little pond. ‘Come on, we’re going to the lake!’ decides one of the four fearlessly. Erik walks at the back of the group and cautiously expresses his doubts. The lake? Doesn’t a terrible monster live there? Unimpressed by Erik’s objections, the group continues undaunted, off on an adventure. In ‘The Monster Lake’, Leo Timmers demonstrates once again what makes him unique as an illustrator.

  • The Things We Knew in 1972
    The Things We Knew in 1972

    In 'The Things We Knew in 1972' Geert Buelens addresses the dangerous condition of our planet, a topical, alarming and complex subject, and he succeeds magnificently in making it totally accessible for a broad audience. While the reader remains aware of the seriousness of the subject throughout, the book is as captivating and informative as it is miraculously  entertaining.

  • The Turntable
    The new highlight of Dutch war literature. *****
    De Tijd

    Tom Lanoye brings together three closely connected lives in Flanders at the time of the Second World War. Alex, a gifted theatre director and actor, his wife, Jewish star actress Lea Liebermann, and his brother Rik Desmedt, also a director and founder of the Flemish SS. 'The Turntable' is a timeless novel in which the author mercilessly exposes the inner workings of a European war.