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Newsletter Foreign Rights De Bezige Bij, Thomas Rap, Oog & Blik, Cargo and Balans June 2013 A.F.Th. Van der Heijden – The Hellcat * Last week A.F.Th. Van der Heijden received the P.C. Hooft Prize for his entire oeuvre. At the same time he surprised his fans with a new novel: The Hellcat. World rights: De Bezige Bij • Novel, 244 pages We meet Albert Egberts’ Aunt Tini. She is jokingly known as Tidy Tini, but her furious cleaning and polishing is ruthless. She has a pathological fear of contamination and a relentlessly acerbic tongue, ruining many a family celebration with vicious tirades against her parents, her older sister and her husband. To Albert Aunt Tini is daunting and intriguing in equal measure. As a little boy he eavesdropped on her and tried desperately to fathom what she meant by her semi-explicit faultfinding. In his time as a student in Nijmegen he even ends up in bed with her. Once he becomes a father himself, Albert is on track for a major confrontation, in which all family secrets finally come to light. The Hellcat is an astonishingly lively and humorous novel in which Van der Heijden once again proves the immense vitality and power of his talent. A.F.Th. van der Heijden made his debut in 1978 with the short story collection A Gondola in the Herengracht. He is working on two novel cycles, The Toothless Time and Homo Duplex. In 2011 he published Tonio. A requiem novel, about the sudden death of his only child, which won him the Libris Literature Prize and the NS Readers’ Prize. Click here to see the award ceremony of the P.C. Hooft Prize. Press on The Hellcat: ‘The events come down in torrents… majestic style.’ **** - de Volkskrant Press on Tonio: ‘Overwhelming.’ - Vrij Nederland ‘Van der Heijden exceeds all bounds of shame, he shows us his raw and innermost feelings, he recounts the shattered details of his daily life and from his harrowing pain about his overwhelming loss he composes a radical lamentation.’ - Neue Zürcher Zeitung ‘Raw, hard, but exquisite.’ - De Standaard ‘Van der Heijden has given language and meaning to the time in which we are now living and reading.’ - Jury Report, P.C. Hooft Prize


Margriet de Moor – Mélodie d’Amour * Rarely has anyone written so lucidly about love World rights: De Bezige Bij • Rights sold: Hanser Verlag (Germany) • English sample translation available • Novel, 336 pages Rotterdam in the 1950s; the collapse of a great love. A young woman called Marina comes to live with Atie and Gustaaf and family. Gustaaf’s adultery leaves Marina pregnant and eventually leads to a divorce. Gustaaf starts a new family with Marina, and Atie’s immense love for him turns into pitiful hatred. Luuk, one of Atie’s sons with Gustaaf, watches the whole situation destroy his parents’ marriage. He says nothing, and the adulterers never bring up the subject either. In part two we follow Luuk, who now has children of his own, as well as a wife and a mistress – the same situation as his father was in all those years ago. We see him through the eyes of his obsessive and pushy mistress Cindy. He is the subject of her fickle and tempestuous moods. She storms into his life without the slightest inhibition and sometimes at the most inconvenient moments. Margriet de Moor made her debut in 1988 with the short story collection Seen from Behind. It was followed by successful novels including First Grey, Then White, Then Blue, which won her the AKO Literature Prize in 1992, The Virtuoso, The Kreuzer Sonata, The Storm and The Painter and the Girl. Her work has been translated into twenty-four languages. Mélodie d’Amour is her ninth novel. Press on Mélodie d’Amour: ‘She shows how one story elicits another, how memories present themselves of their own accord so that there is no escaping them. (...) It becomes clear that stories form relationships with each other, becoming intertwined, and writer and reader perform a duet together, a duet to the melody of a love song.’ **** - de Volkskrant ‘The final score: two magnificent bull’s eyes. Douze points for her enchanting writing.’ - Vrij Nederland ‘De Moor is a pianist and it shows in her writing; she composes her stories and essays with a musical hand and with a great sense of beauty.’ - Gazet van Antwerpen ‘Outrageously beautiful.’ - De Groene Amsterdammer ‘A novel about love and death in the suggestive style that Margriet de Moor has made her own. Subtle and convincing.’ **** - De Standaard


Thomas Heerma van Voss – Stern * The intriguing story of an unusual family World rights: De Bezige Bij • Novel, 217 pages Hugo Stern is a dedicated primary school teacher. With his wife Merel and their eighteen-year-old son Bram, adopted from Korea, he leads a pleasant life in a desirable district of Amsterdam. But when he is suddenly forced to accept early retirement, his life takes an unexpected turn. It is an outcome that pushes him back into a past that turns out to be closer to him than he had dared to imagine. Through flashbacks we discover how things went wrong early on. We get to know the lonely Stern as he grows up in ‘swinging London’, where he tries to live a great and significant life. His only friend is an inconspicuous student from Korea. In a lucid, self-aware style, Thomas Heerma van Voss leads the reader through the life of his main character, a man who never intended to do anything wrong. The result is a multilayered novel in which the young author ingeniously weaves together Stern’s past and present, as we gradually realize how closely related those two periods are. Thomas Heerma van Voss (b. 1990, Amsterdam) studied Dutch at the University of Amsterdam. He published his debut novel The Everything Table in 2009. His stories, interviews and articles have appeared in magazines including Vrij Nederland, nrc.next, Tirade, Das Magazin and De Gids. Stern is his second book. Press on Stern: ‘So young prodigies do still exist.’ - HP De Tijd ‘Stern is an immaculately written novel that you will ponder long afterwards. Clever. And the writer is still only in his early twenties.’ **** - NRC Handelsblad ‘There are a great many young writers who could learn something from Heerma van Voss. He manipulates not the reader but his characters, until they have no way out and cling to pointless, obsessional activities. The resulting prose is funny and sad at the same time. Just as it should be.’ **** - Het Parool ‘A book that grabs you by the throat. The young author shows a keen insight into human relationships. And he has a beautiful symbolic ending in store that will stay with you for a very long time.’ - Trouw ‘A magnificent portrait of an nondescript man produces an unforgettable fictional character. A “Stern” is born.’ - Nu.nl (4 ½ stars)


Newsletter Foreign Rights June 2013