Foreign Rights B r o chur e Frankfurt 2012
atlas contact * ambo|anthos For more information please contact: Ut a Matten
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Atlas Contact Publishers
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Ta b l e o f c o n t e n t s
Geert Mak * Travels Without John. In Search of America 3 Coen Simon * Waiting for Happiness 4 P.F. Thomése * Grillroom Jerusalem 5 André Aleman * Our Aging Brain 6 Michiel van Straten * The Ten Days That Disappeared 7 Erik Kessels * May I Please Have an Idea 8 Maurits Kaptein * Digital Temptation 9 Jaap Scholten * Comrade Baron 10 Carolijn Visser * Argentine Nights 11 Arnold Karskens * The Man-Beast 12 Marja Vuijsje * A More or Less Jewish Family History 13 Van Huis, Dicke & Van Gurp * The Insect Cooking Book 13 Lodewijk Petram * The Birthplace of the Stock Market 14 Jan J. Boersema * Faces of Easter Island 14 Lieve Joris * My African Phone Box 15
n a R R aT I V e n o n – F I c T I o n – H I G H l I G H T - b e s T s e l l e R
Geert Mak’s lifelong fascination for America GeeRT MaK
Travels Without John In Search of America
HIGHLIGHTED BY THE DUTCH FOUNDATION FOR LITERATURE
on september 23, 1960, the legendary writer John steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, set out on an expedition that covered the American continent. the writer’s aim was to become reacquainted with his country and his countrymen. Precisely ﬁfty years later, to the hour, geert Mak left from steinbeck’s former home. it was the start of a tour of inspection in the footsteps of Charley and John, but seen this time through the eyes of 2010. What changes had come to American cities and small towns during the past ﬁfty years? Whatever happened to Main Street, USA? What were the dreams pursued by Americans throughout the centuries? And to what extent had they come true? What remained of that “city on a hill”, that Promised Land once looked up to by the whole world? And above all, what do we still have in common, America and europe, in the 21st century?
NEW, Atlas Contact, 505 pages, August 2012
* Sample translation available Rights sold: Siedler Verlag (Germany), Harvill Secker (UK plus ANZ), Czarne (Poland), Cappelen (Norway), Tiderne Skifter (Denmark) *
Like steinbeck, geert Mak avoided the beaten track. His journey reads like a kaleidoscope of histories, one after the other. Mile after mile, he drove through the potato ﬁelds of Maine and across the endless prairies of the Midwest, sat down at the table with farmers, workers, ﬁshermen and teachers, stumbled upon glistening suburbs and boarded-up general stores, searching again and again for roots in this country that has never failed to capture the imagination.
‘A beautifully written book about the history of an America facing collapse.’ – HET PAROOL
‘Travelling Without John is all-embracing, extremely well written and utterly compelling. (...) Once again Mak displays astonishing erudition. Moreover, his anecdotes are never half-hearted. (...) Mak has the rare gift of being absolutely fascinating on any subject.’ **** DE STANDAARD His book is full of striking observations, charming dialogues, historical references and typical ‘Makian’ descriptions.’ – LEEUWARDER COURANT
Geert Mak (1946) wrote the bestsellers My Father’s Century (550,000 copies sold) and In Europe (450,000 copies sold). Mak received several prizes and was twice awarded the title Historian of the Year. In 2008 he received the Leipziger Buchpreis. The French government appointed Geert Mak in 2009 Companion in the Légion d’Honneur. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.
non-FIcTIon – PHIlosoPHY
Does the world ever offer what we want? coen sIMon
Waiting for Happiness A Philosophy of Desire
HIGHLIGHTED BY THE DUTCH FOUNDATION FOR LITERATURE WINNER DUTCH SOKRATES AWARD
Modern man wants too much, at least according to his own selfdiagnosis. therefore many of us throw ourselves into self-analysis. Because if we know who we are, we’ll know better what we really want. Yet one question is constantly overlooked: does the world ever offer what we want? in Waiting for Happiness philosopher Coen simon immerses himself in his own feelings of hope, longing, laziness, love, aggression, impatience and embarrassment, and uncovers a surprising aspect of desire: it is not the fulﬁlment, but the desire itself that gives meaning to life.
NEW, Ambo, non-ﬁction / philosophy, 168 pages, March 2012
* sample translation available *
‘The depth of the superﬁcial and the personal, the clear, ﬂowing style: these all combine to give reading pleasure and more.’ - JAN SIEBELINK ‘Simon’s writing is ﬂowing and elegant. He touches upon his subject, but without conquering it, and dances around it, but never takes it in his grasp.’ – DE GROENE AMSTERDAMMER ‘Inspired by Schopenhauer, but in his own clear language and using personal experience, Simon explores the various forms of desire.’ – ALGEMEEN DAGBLAD ‘Coen Simon is a meticulous observer and he writes evocatively. He also switches effortlessly back and forth between literary narrative and logical analysis.’ – DE VOLKSKRANT
‘Combines sobriety with suspense. This is indeed literary philosophy.’ – HET PAROOL
Coen Simon (1972) is a philosopher and writer. His essays for NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next and Trouw often feature in the public debate. He is a regular speaker at conferences (TEDx and others) http://www. tedxbreda.nl/performers/coen-simon-ourdesire-is-not-what-we-want. His writings include the much-discussed Looking at Man, Why We Look For but Never Find Ourselves, and And Then We Knew It All. He was asked to write the Essay for the Month of Philosophy for 2013. Previous writers include Arnon Grunberg, Ian Buruma, Connie Palmen, and Hans Achterhuis.
non-FIcTIon – TRaVeloGUe
‘Provocative account of a visit to Palestine.’ – het Parool P. F. T H o M É s e
Grillroom Jerusalem WINNER BOB DEN UYL PRIZE
in late 2010 P.F. thomése travelled through israel and the Palestinian territories on the West Bank and gaza strip. He went as a sceptical ‘observer’ to the Promised Land, the most written-about piece of land on earth. it was an unforgettable experience, and P.F. Thomése, who at ﬁrst had no intention of adding his two cents on israel, started writing Grillroom Jerusalem after returning home. ‘everyone is on the side of good here, that’s clear enough. For centuries, if it comes to that. except for them. they aren’t yet. Which is precisely it. everyone knows how things are, apart from them. A bitter battle is underway here, on this bloodsoaked patch of earth, between good and good. As if there’s something about this part of the world that makes people determined to spread the only true view – by ﬁre and sword if necessary. And if we add in our own side as well, that makes an awful lot of good sides to this essentially bad business.’
Atlas Contact, non-ﬁction / travelogue, 142 pages, 2011
* sample translation available Rights sold: Ersatz & Coltso (Zweden) *
All we have to contribute is our naivety. Where everyone already knows how things are, maybe they could use a spot of refreshing ignorance.’
‘In Grillroom Jerusalem, seemingly written off the cuff, we once again see Thomése in top form. It is a hilariously funny and lively book on a very hot topic: the Palestinian-Israeli issue.’ – DE MORGEN ‘The refusal to follow the beaten path, the use of irony that makes the painful even more painful, the choice to include humour even in tragic situations, the interaction between great distance and direct involvement: these are the qualities found in Grillroom Jerusalem that make the tragedy and hopelessness of the Palestinian-Israeli conﬂict more tangible, more sympathetic than pure journalism. A magniﬁcent demonstration of the proposition that good literature tells the truth through lies.’ – JURY BOB DEN UYL PRIZE 2012.
P.F. Thomése (1958) was awarded the AKO Literature Prize in 1991 for his debut Southland. Shadow Child (2003) spent several weeks in the top ten, was nominated for the NS Readers’ Book of the Year Award, and was longlisted for the Libris Literature Prize. The book was his international breakthrough and was published in more than twenty languages. Since then he has written novels, short stories, essays and novellas to wide acclaim.
HIGHlIGHT non-FIcTIon – PoPUlaR scIence
The advantages of aging anDRÉ aleMan
Our Aging Brain We all sometimes worry about our memory and mind, especially after the age of ﬁfty. In this groundbreaking book, André Aleman shows that the deterioration of the human brain begins earlier than we think, but that it’s not so bad. indeed, an older brain is more resistant to stress and is better at dealing with complex situations than a young brain. Our Aging Brain is a refreshing and very informative book about what happens in our head as we age. Using the latest scientiﬁc insights, it reveals how to recognise the signs of Alzheimer’s, and what you can do to keep your brain healthy.
FORTHCOMING, Atlas Contact, non-ﬁction / popular neuroscience, 224 pages, October 2012
* English material available *
PRESS ON PREVIOUS WORK
‘In his exciting and readable book, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry André Aleman shows that we all sometimes cross the line between reality and fantasy. But thankfully, occasionally hearing a voice or hallucinating does not mean that we are crazy.’ – ELSEVIER ‘Aleman is disconcertingly successful in convincing us that the girl who believes she’s being followed by rats, the patient who saw a gnome on Aleman’s shoulder, and the man who claimed he was urgently needed in America to advise the President, are not really all that different from us.’ – NRC HANDELSBLAD André Aleman (1975) is Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen and is an internationally respected brain scientist. He has received international awards and scholarships for his work. In 2011 he published the successful book Figments of Our Imagination: Why We See, Hear and Think Things That Aren’t There.
non-FIcTIon – PoPUlaR scIence
The things we take for granted, but shouldn’t M I c H I e l Va n s T R aT e n
The Ten Days That Disappeared Numbers, dates, time and the length of a metre are objective truths that help us make sense of life, aren’t they? Not true. In The Ten Days That Disappeared, Michiel van straten examines such everyday things, and uncovers surprising stories, such as that of André Méchain, the most precise scientist in the world. He almost went insane trying to deﬁne the length of a metre (which is now 0.2 mm too short). or that of the young stuart McArthur, who made a world map that shocked his teachers and confused his classmates – nothing was recognisable, yet nothing was incorrect. The Ten Days That Disappeared is full of stories about special people who have given shape to the world as we know it, a world that appears to consist primarily of subjective and fallible human designs. After reading this book your worldview will never be the same again.
NEW, Atlas Contact, non-ﬁction / popular science, 228 pages, May 2012
‘In his highly readable book, Van Straten writes clearly and fascinatingly about things we take for granted, but shouldn’t.’ – TROUW
‘These may seem to be the drier aspects of civilisation, but in his infectious book Van Straten highlights their human and sometimes downright dramatic sides.’ – DE VOLKSKRANT Michiel van Straten is a discovery writer whose work is regularly published in magazines such as Quest History, National Geographic Junior and various travel magazines. The Ten Days That Disappeared combines his fascination with how-it-cameto-be and his love of writing.
n o n - F I c T I o n – c R e aT I V I T Y
‘Let yourself be distracted’, ‘Be uncertain every day’ and other laws of creativity eRIK Kessels
An Idea, Please Creativity On Demand it’s not always easy to be creative, least of all on a daily basis, because the conditions, rules and requirements to come up with an idea are constantly changing. Fortunately, anyone can hit on a good idea; you don’t have to possess a particular talent. erik Kessels teaches you, through forty provocative statements, to think creatively and to recognise and appreciate distinctive ideas. this inspiring book also lets you look behind the scenes of the Netherlands’ most famous advertising agency. An Idea Please, teaches you to think outside the box, look differently, see more and encourages you to make lots of mistakes.
FORTHCOMING, Business Contact, non-ﬁction / creativity, 128 pages, October 2012
Erik Kessels is co-founder and creative director of idiosyncratic Amsterdam communications agency KesselsKramer, which has developed print and TV campaigns for SNS Reaal, Hans Brinker Hostel, Heineken, MTV and many others. Kessels is also an internationally acclaimed photographer and collector. He regularly contributes to international seminars on photography and creativity.
non-FIcTIon – MaRKeTInG
‘Indispensable for any marketeer…’ MaURITs KaPTeIn
Digital Temptation How Persuasion Profiles Are Turning Online Marketing On Its Head of the visitors to an average bookshop, 25 percent actually walk out with a book. online marketeers are over the moon if only 5 percent buy something. they have far more visitors online, but aren’t very successful at getting them to part with their money. the difference lies in the use of persuasion, as employed by good salespeople. Using psychology and technology, Maurits Kaptein has developed a method of inﬂuencing online visitors on an individual basis, by taking into account their personal preferences thanks to so-called persuasion proﬁles.
FORTHCOMING, Business Contact, nonﬁction/online marketing, 192 pages, November 2012
* English material available *
the intuition of the born salesman – is this customer here for the specs? For a bargain? Because he wants to ‘belong’? – can now be simulated digitally, so you can deploy the best strategy to tempt any visitor. Kaptein’s writing is lively and based on cutting-edge research.
‘Bam! It’s like you’re sitting with him at the kitchen table. In a very clear way, Maurits explains how online marketing will radically change in the future.’ – STEFAN WOBBEN, CONCEPT7 DESIGNERS ‘Indispensable for any marketeer who wants to know how to inﬂuence the buying and decision-making behaviour of potential customers. That would be every good marketeer, then.’ – MARKETINGFACTS.NL
Maurits Kaptein is a scientist and entrepreneur. He graduated with distinction from both Eindhoven University of Technology and Stanford University with his research on persuasion proﬁles. He is co-founder of Science Rockstars and is a speaker at scientiﬁc and commercial conferences (TEDxUtrecht, Digital marketing live). His research has been covered by Wired, Blink, Emerce and Bright.
s e l e c T e D b a c K l I s T - n a R R aT I V e n o n - F I c T I o n
‘An exceptional, passionate and important work.’ (from the report of the Libris History Prize jury) J a a P s c H o lT e n
Comrade Baron The Lost World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy 1949-2009 SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOB DEN UYL PRIZE 2011 FOR THE BEST TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER LIBRIS HISTORY PRIZE 2011 FOR THE BEST HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR
Atlas Contact, narrative literary non-ﬁction, 422 pages, November 2010
* English translation available
(October 2012) Comrade Baron is a lyrical book in which the author unashamedly Rights sold: Corvina (Hungary, professes his love of the transylvanian landscape and his admiration in English translation, for the indomitability of the transylvanian nobility in the communist for Hungary only) period. it is humorous, too, with its descriptions of the eastern european 20,000 copies sold * nouveaux riches and their new forms of old-fashioned snobbery. But this book is more than a declaration of love. it presents an extraordinary oral history in which the last remaining members of the aristocracy recount how Ceauşescu carried out an extermination programme against the class enemy, making it an urgent testimony about an aspect of recent history as horrifying as it is unknown. After the fall of the Wall, Western and eastern europe are still trying to work out their relationship with each other. this fascinating book contributes to that effort...’ e X t R A C t F R o M t H e J U RY R e P o Rt o F t H e L i B R i s H i s t o RY P R i Z e
‘There are many wonderful things about Scholten’s book. […] he also captures the spirit of Old Europe, the pride in the past, the assumptions, the ideals, the worldview, the superiority. Scholten’s book is full, colourful, occasionally gruesome, often astonishing, and beautifully written. By beautiful I mean: fast-paced, with passion and a good feeling for details.’ HET PAROOL ‘The destruction of the aristocracy had many more far-reaching consequences than the eradication of a social class; it had radical consequences for society as a whole, as Scholten illuminates in his book.’ HP / DE TIJD ‘Comrade Baron can be characterised as a mixture of travel writing, oral history, and personal perception. Many of the stories have been conﬁded to the writer only after months or even years of insistence, simply and solely on condition of anonymity.’ FINANCIEEL DAGBLAD
Jaap Scholten (1963) has written widely praised novels including Eighty, Morning Star and Spengler’s Law. He has been living in Budapest, Hungary since 2002. For this book he interviewed more than ﬁfty people in Hungary and Romania. To some of them he had to make the promise that the book would not appear in Hungarian or Romanian.
n a R R aT I V e n o n F I c T I o n
‘… the weird and wonderful life of emigrants.’ caRolIJn VIsseR
Argentine Nights From Rotterdam to the Pampas in the year 1937 Rinus Mastrigt decided to cycle to the Dutch east indies to look for work. He married in Batavia, and ida was born shortly thereafter. the war tore the family apart. After a spell in the Japanese camps, Rinus sought his fortune in booming Argentina and had his daughters follow him there.
NEW, Atlas Contact, literary narrative nonﬁction, 288 pages, May 2012
Argentine Nights is the story of a father and his two daughters, emigrants in Argentina, and their strained relationship – the story of a family adrift, but also a tribute to generations of Dutch people who build a new life in an unknown world.
‘Argentine Nights: From Rotterdam to the Pampas is a fascinating book depicting the weird and wonderful life of emigrants. People who don’t deny their origins, but eventually assimilate in their new country.’ – RADIO NEDERLAND WERELDOMROEP
‘You don’t have to use your imagination to write a gripping book. Reality is more than beautiful, awful, shocking and hopeful enough. Carolijn Visser demonstrates this in her new book Argentine Nights, which was published recently. (...) Argentine Nights is a moving, impressive book.’ - ZEELAND GEBOEKT
Carolijn Visser (1956) has travelled the world for many years. She is particularly interested in communist and post-communist societies such as China, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Estonia. 2006 saw the publication of Miss Concordia: Women in Foreign Lands, for which she received the Zeeland Book Award and which was translated into Estonian. Uncle Brian, The Pitbull Thrower and Other Stories was published in 2009 and Argentine Nights in May 2012.
The hunt for the last Dutch Nazi. aRnolD KaRsKens
The Man-Beast The Hunt for Dutch Nazi Klaas Carel Faber For ﬁve years Arnold Karskens – in collaboration with the Simon Wiesenthal Center – pursued the last fugitive Dutch war criminal from the second World War. As an employee of the gestapo and the sicherheitsdienst, the state intelligence and security service of the ss, Klaas Carel Faber unleashed a reign of terror in Northern Holland.
FORTHCOMING, Atlas Contact, 224 pages, October 2012
Karskens recounts Faber’s upbringing in a fanatical Dutch Resistance family and how he became a professional killer who was convicted of complicity in twenty-two murders. From his escape in 1952 until his death in 2012, Faber lived as a free man in germany. Karskens tells the story of his hunt for this last Dutch Nazi. He pieces together the experiences of the surviving relatives, along with those of his own Resistance family, to form a story about the experiences of the second and third generation of war victims. PRESS
‘Arnold Karskens is the true hero of this story. An important book that should be read by anyone who thinks it important to hold war criminals accountable.’ – EFRAIM ZUROFF, NAZI-HUNTER SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER
‘His reporting has made unpunished Dutch complicity in war crimes an extremely pressing matter.’ – AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE CLARA MEIJER-WICHMANN MEDAL 2008
Arnold Karskens (1954) is the Netherlands’ best-known war reporter. He works for De Nieuwe Pers, is a contributor to several radio and TV programs and has written seven books, including Plasters on the Eyes, Plaster on the Mouth and Our Man in Baghdad.
selecTeD bacKlIsT non-FIcTIon
A phenomenal book that is so much more than a family chronicle
A More or Less Jewish Family History Marja Vuijsje’s father, Nathan Vuijsje, survived Auschwitz because he was such a good trombone player. After the war he kept talking about the ‘wretched camp’ – day in day out, year in year out. But when it came to his parents and his brother and sister, he tended to keep silent. this is Marja Vuijsje’s in-depth portrait of the life of the baker’s family of eight in which her father grew up. Four sons survived the war. How did they pick up their lives again? What did Israel come to mean to them? And what elements of the war and their Jewish roots did they pass on to their children and grandchildren? Against the backdrop of the ﬁrst few decades of the twentieth century, World War ii, its aftermath and the process of coming to terms with its atrocities, Marja Vuijsje has written a poignant family history that takes the reader from Amsterdam to Jerusalem and back again.
NEW, Atlas Contact, 335 pages, February 2012 * Sample translation available *
The Meat of the Future a R n o l D Va n H U I s , M a R c e l D I c K e & H e n K Va n G U R P
The Insect Cooking Book The Insect Cooking Book provides a treasure of information about customs of eating insects from all over the world. some of the insects that are discussed are ants, wasps, termites, grasshoppers, caterpillars, palm weevils, and silkworms. general information about edible insects is given as well as information on food safety, nutritional information and where to buy and how to prepare. But why eat insects? The need for alternative protein sources (other than “meat” from livestock) is urgent. to feed a rapidly growing world population with progressively more demanding consumers, food production needs to be increased. this puts a heavy pressure on already limited resources of land, fertilizers and energy, while greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deforestation, and environmental degradation will increase. Promoting the consumption of insects may mitigate the livestock crisis.
NEW, Atlas Contact, 192 pages, richly illustrated, including recipes, April 2012
* Rights sold: Columbia University Press (U.S.) *
selecTeD bacKlIsT non-FIcTIon
The World’s First Stock Exchange How the Modern Stock Market Was Born in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam HIGHLIGHTED BY THE DUTCH FOUNDATION FOR LITERATURE
in The Birthplace of the Stock Market Lodewijk Petram tells the fascinating and hitherto unknown story of the origin of the stock exchange business. it is August 1602. in the house of Dirck van os, in a street called Nes in Amsterdam, people are able to subscribe for the initial stock in the VoC – the Dutch east india Company. When the offering closes, there are 1143 names registered. The ﬁrst shareholders of the VOC are a fact. Not long after, a lively trade in shares springs up in Amsterdam. Following closely in the footsteps of merchants, speculators and fraudsters, Petram brings the seventeenth century to life. He takes the reader to the Dam, the Kalverstraat and the Nieuwe Brug, where it all began. the tense atmosphere, the dirty tricks, the ban on short selling – Petram shows that surprisingly many features of today’s stock market were already present in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.
NEW, Atlas, historical non-ﬁction, 256 pages, November 2011 * Rights sold: Columbia University Press (U.S.), Aiora Press (Greece) English material available *
Jan J. b oeRseMa
Faces of Easter Island On The Sustainability Of A Culture HIGHLIGHTED BY THE DUTCH FOUNDATION FOR LITERATURE
easter island is the most remote inhabited place on earth. How Polynesian settlers managed to reach it ten centuries ago is still a mystery. on this tiny island, not much bigger than texel, the inhabitants established a spectacular statue culture. But at what price? When Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the ﬁrst European to lay eyes on the island on Easter Sunday 1722, the landscape turned out to be completely deforested. the culture also appeared to be in decline. Was there a connection? Clive Ponting, Jared Diamond and many other scientists think so. easter island became the icon of environmental history, the classic example of societal collapse due to misuse of natural resources, and a warning for the entire earth. in Faces of Easter Island, this conventional wisdom is put under the microscope and rejected. there is another story that needs to be told.
Atlas Contact, 224 pages, April 2011
* Rights sold: Cambridge University Press (U.S.) *
selecTeD bacKlIsT non-FIcTIon
My African Phone Box in My African Phone Box, Africa, the Middle east and eastern europe the three regions Lieve Joris has travelled through over the past thirty years - come together for the ﬁrst time. With love and compassion she describes the people she meets; she immerses herself in their lives and drags the reader along with her: Bina from Mali who makes her patron saint of his telephone box, Kurdish ismaïl who reads Baudelaire in inner syria, Hungarian szabolcs who falls under the spell of a forgotten village on the tisza - in sharp contrast to the indifference of their rulers, Lieve Joris’s characters ﬁght for their lives with ﬂair. Atlas Contact, 158 pages, September 2010
* Rights sold: Actes Sud (France), Edições tinta-da-china (Portugal) *