Our Top Literature Stories of the Year
Join us in bidding goodbye to 2023 with some of the most surprising stories we have published this year on literature from Flanders and the Netherlands. They are worth reading again. Sit down by the fireplace. Relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the stories.
Why Are English Books So Popular With Dutch Speakers?
© Shiromani Kant / Unsplash
Is it a good thing that the Dutch and Flemish crack open a huge number of English books every year? At least they’re reading. Or will this trend spell disaster for Dutch publishers, authors and translators? For booksellers and publishers, things are not as bleak as they might seem. For authors and translators, however, it’s a different – less positive – story.
Why Reynard the Fox and Flanders Are Inseparable
No other Middle Dutch text has meant so much to so many as Reynard the Fox, a dramatic literary cycle about the relationship between the individual and society, written by the otherwise unknown author Willem. Why has this story remained so popular for centuries? And how have so many textual researchers set about getting their teeth into the fox’s adventures? That is what medievalist Frits van Oostrom examines in his book The Reynard. Living with a masterpiece.
The Fate of Dutch-American Author Dola de Jong
© private archive De Jong/Joseph
Mirjam Van Hengel wrote a biography of the Jewish writer and dancer Dola de Jong who migrated to New York to escape the Nazis. There, she wrote successful children’s books and young adult literature, and some internationally acclaimed novels. But the book that she always intended to write – about how to carry on after the Second World War – never materialized.
Lady Liberty as Muse
© Hollands Diep / photo by Anja van Wijgerden
The United States of America and the Netherlands are a rich source of inspiration to Dutch and American writers. The American journalist Russell Shorto found the origins of American tolerance in the histories of Amsterdam and New Amsterdam. Vice versa, Annejet van der Zijl, a Dutch author, found her muse in the United States.
© Marianne Hommersom
Flemish-Dutch cultural institution deBuren asked eighteen young writers to bring seventeenth-century artefacts from the Rijksmuseum to life. They wrote prose texts and poems and created comics and audio stories in response to the question: looking at these objects, what eureka moments do you see?
The Translator’s Pick
We want to give translators the recognition they deserve. Every month, we invite a translator of Dutch into English to give literary tips based on two questions: which translated book by a Flemish or Dutch author should everyone read? And, which book absolutely deserves an English translation? To get publishers excited, an excerpt has already been translated.