Length: 592 Pages
'The stories here will provoke, delight and impress. Joost Zwagerman's selection forms a fascinating guidebook to a landscape you'll surely want to wander in again.' Clare Lowden, TLS
'There is a lot of northern European melancholy in the collection, though often tinged with wry humour...an excellent book' Jonathan Gibbs, Minor Literatures
'We were kids - but good kids. If I may say so myself. We're much smarter now, so smart it's pathetic. Except for Bavink, who went crazy'
A husband forms gruesome plans for his new fridge; a government employee has a haunting experience on his commute home; prisoners serve as entertainment for wealthy party guests; an army officer suffers a monstrous tropical illness. These short stories contain some of the most groundbreaking and innovative writing in Dutch literature from 1915 to the present day, with most pieces appearing here in English for the first time. Blending unforgettable snapshots of the realities of everyday life with surrealism, fantasy and subversion, this collection shows Dutch writing to be an integral part of world literary history.
Joost Zwagerman (1963-2015) was a novelist, poet, essayist and editor of several anthologies. He started his career as a writer with bestselling novels, describing the atmosphere of the 1980s and 1990s, such as Gimmick!(1988) and False Light (1991). In later years, he concentrated on writing essays - notably on pop culture and visual arts - and poetry. Suicide was the theme of the novel Six Stars (2002). He took his own life just after having published a new collection of essays on art, The Museum of Light.
Length: 592 Pages
Forms a loose narrative - both historical and literary - of the twentieth century...watching the decades roll by in this looking-glass world, familiar yet strange, is one of the book's chief pleasures...the stories here will provoke, delight and impress. Joost Zwagerman's selection forms a fascinating guidebook to a landscape you'll surely want to wander in again.
There is a lot of northern European melancholy in the collection, though they are often tinged with wry humour...The Second World War and Dutch colonialism also cast their shadows on these stories. Unblemished comedy is in short supply. And you have to ask: is this gloominess a reflection on the Dutch temperament, or on the present selection?... An excellent book