Author

Mathijs Deen

Mathijs Deen (b. 1962) is a radio producer and a writer of non-fiction, short stories and novels. His short-story collection Brutus heeft honger (Brutus Is Hungry) was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. In 2013, his book De Wadden (The Wadden Islands) was published to critical acclaim and sold 25,000 copies. His novel Onder de mensen (Among the People) was reissued in 2016. In 2018 he published a collection of travel stories called Over oude wegen (Down Old Roads: A Journey Through Europe’s History), which was nominated for the Bob den Uyl Prize and received the Halewijn Prize. His latest novella, The Lightship, is longlisted for the Libris Literature Award. His work has been translated into German, Italian and Korean.

Down Old Roads

Down Old Roads

A Journey through Europe’s History

(De Bezige Bij, 2018, 312 pages)

Travellers have roamed Europe for the past million years, from the mysterious homo antecessor whose footprints have been found on the coast of England to the driver on today’s motorways. Under every mark lies an older one, under every paved road a donkey trail or wagon rut, under every footpath the tracks of ancient hunters or their prey.

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The Lightship

The Lightship

(Thomas Rap, 2020, 128 pages)

The routine on board the Texel, a lightship – essentially a floating lighthouse – is disturbed when the cook smuggles a live billy-goat on board to use in a stew. The animal’s arrival leads to tension among the crew and ultimately causes the shift to end in tragedy.

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The Boundless River

The Boundless River

Stories from the Rhine Basin

(Thomas Rap, 2021, 336 pages)

In The Boundless River Deen does not tell the story of the Rhine directly, from source to sea, but as a current fed by many tributaries. Meandering from the mighty hippos that once grazed on the river’s banks millions of years ago to the exhausted salmon that saw their habitat slowly change, from the girl from ancient Steinheim to the Roman general Corbulo, to the young Goethe and the North Sea fisherman Kommer Tanis – Deen tells stories in which the Rhine is ever present, at times in the lead role, at others as an extra. He shows how, since the beginning of time, the river has connected and divided, terrified, consoled, sustained and engulfed.

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Translations