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6 novels from Flanders – spring selection 2024

Coincidentally, the six novels of our spring selection are all written by authors that we haven’t promoted before. The result is an eclectic mix of intriguing new fiction from Flanders: ranging from an anti-war message which we now seem to desperately need, a dive into the mythic online world of crypto currency, an obsessive search for a vanished best friend, a queer autofictional road trip, to two thought-provoking books about generational trauma and dual identity.

Collage fiction spring 2024

‘Companions in Fate’ by Sabrine Ingabire

A quest for connection, identity and solace

In this coming-of-age novel we follow Ajali during her final year at secondary school. As a child of Rwandan refugees, she has difficulty finding her place in society. She feels distanced both from her family and from her white classmates. Not a single word is wasted in ‘Companions in Fate’. In a style both clear and incisive, Ingabire has written a relevant and necessary tale about growing up, trauma and love in a family that struggles both with silence and the past.

Ingabire puts into words what it's like to grow up in a world that sees you as a stranger. Authentic and open, she dissects the complexity and layering of (Ajali's) identity.
Cover Lotgenoten

‘W.’ by Tiemen Hiemstra

A reflection on friendship and memory

Olaf's world is shaken by the sudden reappearance of his best friend W. in Antwerp. The news marks the start of thirteen gripping days in which he goes searching for answers. Why did W. disappear? How real are Olaf's memories of their friendship? Hiemstra's debut pays tribute to youth and the idealism that goes with it. An addictive novel with distinctly layered characters, playful in its language and composition.

This remarkable, commanding book switches subtly between gravity and lightness.
Cover W.

‘0xBlixa’ by Vincent Van Meenen

A portrait of the digital goldrush generation

Dive into the alienating world of 0xBlixa, the online alter-ego of 31 year old Paul. He's a self-proclaimed 'venture capitalist angel investor in search of inner peace'. Van Meenen examines the dark side of the crypto universe, exposing the intoxicating allure of profit and the risks that come with it. Paul's quest for a slower life clashes with his online presence: gradually more and more cracks appear in his world.

An outstanding exploration of a little-known niche world.
Cover 0xblixa

‘Magnificent Monster’ by Fleur Pierets

Cruising in the wake of 'Carol'

An artist and LGTBQ+ activist is mourning the loss of her wife who died unexpectedly of cancer a few years earlier. To break out of her loneliness and her impasse, she leaves for the United States. There she repeats the road trip taken by Carol and Therese, the central characters in the book ‘Carol’ by Patricia Highsmith, the first lesbian love story with a relatively happy ending. 'Magnificent Monster' is a compelling journey in which Pierets offers sophisticated insights on relationships, art and grief.

A beautiful collage about life, love and death.
Cover Magnificent Monster

‘Bintje’ by Tuly Salumu

The difficult relationship between a father with a migrant background and his daughter

Bintje, who carries both Belgium and Congo within her, struggles with the process of forming an identity and with the influence of the socio-political situation on a family. In meticulous prose, Salumu shows what it’s like to grow up as a girl and woman of colour in a white environment. She raises fascinating philosophical questions about identity, generational trauma, admiration and parenthood, and succeeds in deeply affecting the reader with this passionate debut.

Salumu’s debut novel chafes, clings, touches and shames.
De Morgen
Cover Bintje

‘Holy Wrath’ by Maurice D'Haese

Classic about wartime resistance, the tragedy of loneliness and the meaninglessness of life

Peter wants to see the Second World War end as quickly as possible, so he joins the resistance. Engaging in arms drops, sabotage missions, and defending a bridge, he witnesses the brutal toll of conflict. According to D’Haese, not only is warfare senseless, all of life is subject to existential doubt. ‘Holy Wrath’, with its acerbic anti-war message, remains relevant and topical today.

The pinnacle of his oeuvre, that can easily rival the absurdist novels of ideas by Camus.
Cover Heilige Gramschap
May 31st, 2024