Essay

Mireille Berman

Wanderlust

6 april 2021

In this brochure, the Dutch Foundation for Literature is pleased to present well-written and much talked about non-fiction titles recently published in the Netherlands. More than ever, it has become clear that the world does not stop at national borders: the coronavirus, climate change, international conflicts affect us all, and we are kept abreast of global developments through traditional and new media. The Dutch non-fiction that we present here responds to this.

The books are by Dutch authors, but all are international in terms of subject matter and approach: it is non-fiction from the Netherlands, but certainly not only of importance to the Netherlands.

For example, internationally-renowned virologist Jaap Goudsmit sheds light on the background of the Covid-19 pandemic; historian Beatrice de Graaf explains what motivates terrorists worldwide; and Daniël Verlaan exposes how cross-border internet crime works.

But Dutch non-fiction authors also write about the kind of personal issues that keep us awake at night: a devastating feeling of guilt (Jannah Loontjens), loneliness (Marjan Slob), or simply insomnia (Bregje Hofstede). Authors writing about their identity inevitably bring the global dimensions of the post-colonial Netherlands into the picture: Raoul de Jong writes about Suriname, Jan Brokken about Indonesia. And then there is the infectious, naive wanderlust of The Globetrotters, who set off in 1911 to make the world a better place.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature is keen to provide a platform for this global exchange. Now that COVID-19 has glued everyone to their screens and the usual conversations at bookfairs in Frankfurt, London and elsewhere are impossible, we are running a monthly Editors’ Hour, in which international non-fiction publishers are invited to take a seat around a virtual table to discuss recent acquisitions and publishing developments. No titles are pitched – although this is not forbidden – but conversations are held on how today’s world is affecting the book trade. Together with my colleague Michele Hutchison, we cordially invite interested editors to attend one of the following meetings. Please drop us a line at: m.berman@letterenfonds.nl

Mireille Berman

More than ever, it has become clear that the world does not stop at national borders. The Dutch non-fiction that we present here responds to this.