Oek de Jong

Circle in the Grass

Oek de Jong’s prime preoccupation, the desire for a harmonious life – whether or not through art – is repeated in this novel set in Italy in the late seventies, gripped by the horror of the kidnap and murder of the politician Aldo Moro. One of its ideas is that whoever strives for a Buddhist approach to life must recognize that good and evil are two sides of the same coin: the Red Brigade on the one side and their capitalist victim on the other.

This idea is echoed in the book’s love story in which the author attempts to resolve the contradictions of independence versus surrender and head versus heart. Andrea Simonetti, an Italian art historian and poet, sees his love affair with Dutch journalist Hanna Piccard floundering.
The point of view is divided among four characters, and only the author seems finally to triumph. A serious novel of ideas.

An exceptional novel.

Vrij Nederland

An admirable and brave expression of seriousness in an age that seeks stylish diversion from literature. This alone makes it a work of the highest order.

Haagse Post


Oek de Jong

Oek de Jong (b. 1952) made his debut with a collection of short stories, De hemelvaart van Massimo (Massimo’s Ascension, 1976), for which he was given the Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize for young writers. He enjoyed his real breakthrough in 1979 with the novel Opwaaiende zomerjurken (Billowing…

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Cirkel in het gras (1985). Fiction, 432 pages.
Copies sold: 150,000


J.M. Meulenhoff

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The Netherlands
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Literary agent

Liepman AG

Postfach 572
CH - 8044 Zurich
Tel: +41 1 26 17 660

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