Author

Annelies Verbeke

Annelies Verbeke (b. 1976) became instantly famous with her successful first novel Slaap! (Sleep! 2003). The Dutch edition sold more than 70,000 copies and was published in eighteen countries. Her second novel, Reus (Giant, 2006), and her collection of short stories Groener gras (Greener Grass, 2007) attracted attention for her surprisingly unusual realism and lightly bizarre and absurd humour. Annelies Verbeke also writes columns, film scripts and plays. With her new novel, Vissen redden, a new highlight in her career, she strengthens her position as one of the most prominent authors of her generation.
‘My stories are usually about the underdog,’ says Verbeke, ‘because to my mind, he is closer to the essence of life, and is therefore more interesting in his quest for his own truth. I want to move people, make them laugh and give them a feeling of solidarity, in the hope that this – even if only briefly – will draw them a little closer together.’

Sleep!

Sleep!

(De Geus, 2004, 160 pages)

Maya is an insomniac whom nothing and nobody can help. She wanders the city at night envying those who can take a good night’s rest for granted. When her boyfriend walks out on her, she meets the equally insomniac, much older Benoit, and they feel an immediate mutual sympathy. She reminds him of his mother, with whom he had a deep but ambiguous bond – unknown to him she was a prostitute which made him a vulnerable outsider even in his childhood. Maya recognises in him a fellow-sufferer, and he helps to make her existence a little more bearable.

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Greener Grass

Greener Grass

(De Geus, 2007, 224 pages)

Annelies Verbeke’s work has been praised for its bizarre take on people who are slightly out of the ordinary, who for all their unease have great reserves of emotion. In their existential discomfort they display varying degrees of loneliness, isolation and impotence, feelings of insignificance and rejection, but always counterbalanced by subtle irony and dry humour.

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Saving Fish

Saving Fish

(De Geus, 2009, 185 pages)

Annelies Verbeke’s new novel, Vissen redden (Saving Fish), is imbued with the pain of love lost. After writer Monique Champagne is left by her boyfriend Thomas, she turns away from literature, finding a new purpose in life, denouncing the dramatic decline of the world’s fish stocks. When asked to by an organisation to do a literary interlude at international conferences on fishing, she travels to Tallinn, and from there to Athens and Lisbon, on to Istanbul – although her performance there is cancelled – and to inhospitable Vladivostok.

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Translations

Website

http://www.anneliesverbeke.com