Leo Pleysier first gained a wide audience with Wit is altijd schoon (White is Always Nice, 1989), a wonderful tribute to a dead mother, filling the ears of the author with an incessant stream of words, as she lies on view. In subsequent books, De kast (The Cupboard, 1991) and Zwart van het volk (Thick as Flies, 1996) among them, Pleysier lets various family members speak in their own idiom of their far from idyllic childhood in the countryside and how they grew up to cope with modern-day Flanders. The odd one out was De Gele Rivier is bevrozen (The Yellow River is Frozen, 1993), the views and recollections of Flanders of an aunt who has emigrated to China and India, and has become painfully alienated from her roots. The family cycle is rounded off with Volgend jaar in Berchem (Next Year in Berchem, 2000), in which the father, a controversial figure of their youth, is discussed at family gatherings and the narrator himself wisely keeps silent in the orchestra of voices. Pleysier’s work has won numerous awards, the Belgian National Prize for Prose among them.