We Slaves of Suriname reaches the bestseller lists, 86 years after publication

We Slaves of Suriname reaches the bestseller lists, 86 years after publication

6 August 2020 - Mireille Berman

We Slaves of Suriname by the Surinamese writer and activist Anton de Kom (1898-1945) is one of the most important anti-colonial writings of the 20th century. It is on a par with W.E.B. Du Bois’ Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Frantz Fanon’s Les damnés de la terre (1961). The book is the first, but still one of the few works to describe Dutch colonial rule and Suriname’s slave economy.

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4th of May speech by Arnon Grunberg translated into twelve languages

3 July 2020 - Mireille Berman

By Mireille Berman

Every year the National Committee for 4 and 5 May asks a writer to give a speech at its Remembrance Day gathering. This year it chose Arnon Grunberg, who read an impressive essay entitled ‘No’.

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‘You touch me so much’

‘You touch me so much’

Nanfang International Literary Festival

8 September 2014 - Mireille Berman

The Nanfang International Literary Festival took place in the South Chinese city of Guangzhou between 18th and 24th August 2014. Guangzhou, previously called Canton and, with 12 million citizens, one of the largest cities in China, is an unusual juxtaposition of the old and the inexorably encroaching new. The city’s rapid economic growth is visible everywhere.

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Armchair Traveller

A virtual tour of a Dutch bookshop

22 August 2012 - Mireille Berman

If you walk into a Dutch bookshop – there are more than 1.500 in the Netherlands, struggling to survive – as a tourist, you will probably experience the joys of recognition. The inevitable international bestsellers – E.L. James, Suzanne Collins, Nicci French, Jonas Jonasson, Stephen King and Karin Slaughter – are all there, and selling very well. These titles, mostly translated from English, share their space on the bestseller tables with the occasional original Dutch title, like Paulien Cornelisse’s quirky observations of Dutch vernacular, and successful thrillers, all written by blond, high-heeled women authors (and if they happen to be male, they wisely use a female alias). The rest are sports books, mostly about football, which is very popular in the Netherlands.

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Mireille Berman

Non-fiction specialist


Mireille Berman is responsible for the international promotion of non-fiction. Berman is currently on secondment, and her duties are taken over by Michele Hutchison.