This is our spring collection for 2022 with a lot of beautiful new titles. In times like these especially, connection and cultural exchange are of immense importance. Our spring selection is full of outspoken stories that provide recognition and comfort.
The atmosphere is vaguely reminiscent of Ben Lerner, Samuel Beckett and also the early Peter Handke.
Sibel, Ömer and Wernicke all live illegally at Istanbul airport. They symbolize a new generation of adults who do not feel at home in the countries where they were born, nor in their parents’ native lands. In this sensitive debut novel, language and the inability to understand one another are central, as is the impossibility of feeling truly at home if you are unable to speak your mother tongue.
We seldom see so much humour, beauty and linguistic creativity.
Cutting Edge, on ‘Show and Tell Me the World
In this unusual and colourful look-and-learn book, Schamp takes us on a journey through the centuries, from the invention of the wheel to the car of tomorrow. ‘The Biggest and Cheeriest Book of All Vehicles’ carries the unmistakable stamp of Tom Schamp. You’ll never tire of looking at the packed pages with their vibrant colours. A book that fills both children and the adults reading to them with joy.
Penetrating and splendid, full of brilliant, somewhat harrowing images
A maverick of Flemish literature, Roger Van de Velde has had a lasting impact on the current generation of Flemish authors. The novel 'Crackling skulls' reflects his unique life. In twenty powerful short stories, Van de Velde portrays his ‘companions in misery’, people living on the fringes of society, with whom he found himself in psychiatric institutions. Empathy, combined with a powerful talent for observation, an eye for detail and literary flair, produces compelling portraits of lost souls.
‘Breakers’ is a compact, visually oriented novella with a dash of magic realism.
Five lifeless bodies wash up on a beach close to a couple’s home, followed not long afterwards by the body of a child. From that moment on, everything between the man and woman who live in the beachside house will be different. Their safe world belongs to the past, now that the refugee issue has disturbed their harmonious world. Torn between guilt and impotence, the man and woman drift further and further apart until their relationship hits the rocks.
Sassafras De Bruyn’s illustrations turn the book into a real gem.
Pluizuit on ‘The Book of Life’
People have always told each other stories – about gods, humans, minor quarrels or powerful magicians. In 'For as Long as People Have Existed' Sassafras De Bruyn has chosen thirty stories from all over the world, each of which has a metamorphosis at its heart. Her drawings, printed in tints of deep blue, create an extraordinary and surreal atmosphere that fits the book perfectly.
Over a period of forty years, master con artist Piet Van Haut has presented himself as director of Johnson & Johnson, as an examining magistrate, and as the CEO of Belgian Railways. He has thereby stolen millions. Inghels not only tells the story of a real-life swindler, but also recounts his own adventures in writing a book about that criminal. He plays an interesting game with the boundary between fact and fiction. A shocking story about heroism, vanity, greed, ambition and manipulation, not just on the part of the con artist but on the part of the author too.
‘The King’s Golden Beard’ is an allegorical fairy tale as absurd as it is topical, with delightful humour. It makes children think about the meaning of power and the use of power, and demonstrates the dangers of dictatorial rulers.
In ‘Passages’ Martha Verschaffel interweaves four mysterious stories. Are there any connections between them? Is there a single main narrative? Or is that just the interpretation you favour as a reader?
An impressive story collection, in which Carmien Michels proves herself an extremely intelligent and sensitive storyteller.
In her debut story collection, Carmien Michels exposes the fragility of fatherhood. Her six short stories are really mini novels, in which her characters face illness, memories of a difficult childhood, stalking, rape and death. All fathers have a hard time, but some rather more than others. They fall short of expectations, miss their children, or struggle to emulate their own fathers. Michels’ characters echo the universe of Roald Dahl.
Splendid true-to-life characters. Beerten’s sentences are measured and expressive, her dialogues informal, sometimes suggestive.
After the First World War, little Fredo migrates with his father to Liverpool, where he lives an unassuming but pleasant life. When the Second World War breaks out, every Italian in Britain is suddenly suspect. Fredo goes into hiding in the countryside with a woman with whom he finds solace, but when the war ends he’s asked to leave. In despair he travels back to his native Italy. Els Beerten’s sharply delineated characters and the profound psychological insights that we detect between the lines add up to a magnificent epic about migration, parent-child relationships and homecoming.
A book to cherish and enjoy, to take into your heart along with Bahar
'Bahar Bizarre’ is a joyful and uncomplicated story about growing up and identity. How are you supposed to know what you want to become? And how soon do you need to know? Bahar is a happy little girl with a unique outlook on the world and recognizable feelings about searching an unfamiliar place for a way to fit in, about making friends and being accepted.
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.
One day, Crocodile decides to leave his pond and to head into the big wide world. That’s when he realises that quite a few of his friends are in trouble. ‘The Kind Crocodile’ is a light-hearted and funny cumulative tale about the unexpected power of teamwork.
In a dystopia that lies halfway between a western and science fiction, a team of adventurers goes in search of a mythical hoard of gold in the ghost town of Centralia. With this debut, Miel Vandepitte proves that we can expect a great deal from him in the future.
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?
Antonia grows up along with her three half-sisters and her flamboyant mother in the Flanders of the 1980s and ’90s. Her father is out of the picture. While she grows up, she discovers who he was. 'Pluto' is a multifaceted family story in which strong but essentially lonely women are central. With evocative writing full of sensual details, Taveirne creates an intimate world and presents a completely authentic view of major themes: loss, the desire for love and safely, the inability to form close relationships, absent fathers and the lack of an ‘ordinary mother’.
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.