The Times praises Jeroen Olyslaegers
British newspaper The Times has chosen Jeroen Olyslaegers’ WILL as its Book of the Month of October 2019. This is all the more remarkable since David Colmer’s translation was published only very recently, on 26 September, by Pushkin Press. The paper describes 'WILL' as historical fiction at its best: 'provocative, uncomfortable and illuminating’.
On 12 October Olyslaegers will head to the United Kingdom to promote the English translation of his award-winning novel. He will appear at the British Library in London in conversation with Bart van Es and alongside historian Simon Schama and fellow authors Herman Koch and Esther Gerritsen. The event is part of New Dutch Writing, a campaign fronted by the Dutch Foundation for Literature to promote Dutch-language literature in the English-speaking world.
'WILL' is set during World War II. Olyslaegers challenges the widely accepted boundaries between good and evil – not just in the past, but also in this day and age. It is a subject that appealed to several foreign publishers: the English version is the eighth translation to appear. Last year, the Czech, German, Spanish and Catalan editions were published, while earlier this year the book came out in French, Italian and Hungarian.
More words of praise for the English edition
Olyslaegers bravely explores moral compromise, betrayal and collaboration – and throws our polarised times into sharp relief.The Observer
A violently atmospheric novel that asks the big, implicating questions about the shadowy terrain of appeasement.The Daily Mail