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Maarten ’t Hart

Maarten ‘t Hart (b. 1944) has published more than forty books since his debut in 1971. His classic novel A Flight of Curlews (1978) sold over one million copies. In Germany, where ‘t Hart has been a bestselling author since The Fury of the Whole World (1993), the magazine Der Spiegel described him as a ‘wonderfully old-fashioned story-teller’. 2015 saw the publication of his memoir Magdalena, a universal story recognizable to every mother and son but also a personal, critical take on religion. A biologist as well as a specialist on classical music, he published a book about his personal fascination for Johannes Sebastian Bach (2000, new edition 2018).

Een vlucht regenwulpen

Een vlucht regenwulpen

(De Arbeiderspers, 1978)

The film of Maarten ’t Hart’s most famous novel starred Jeroen Krabbé as Maarten, the shy, awkward biology professor. Maarten grows up, as did ’t Hart, in an austere Calvinist environment. His father represents a threat to the mute intimacy between him and his mother. Maarten’s exceptional intelligence exacerbates his isolation at school and he feels safe only when viewing the world from a distance.

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De Zonnewijzer

De Zonnewijzer

(De Arbeiderspers, 2002, 240 pagina's)

Maarten ’t Hart’s new novel The Sundial, is engrossing. It opens with the central character, Leonie Kuyper, attending the funeral of her best friend Roos Berczy, who has died of sunstroke. Leonie has always felt somewhat overshadowed by Roos. Although both were good-looking, Roos was far more striking than Leonie and a brilliant pharmacological research assistant to boot. Roos turns out to have made Leonie her sole heir, provided that she moves into Roos’ apartment and cares for her cats. Naturally she is eager to fulfill her best friend’s last wishes. Leonie, an impoverished translator, becomes the owner of a beautiful apartment, a large portfolio of common stocks, and an expensive…

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Lotte Weeda

Lotte Weeda

(De Arbeiderspers, 2004, 270 pagina's)

‘Delusion is all that is given to us’ is the maxim Maarten ’t Hart gives Xenophanes in his new novel, and the villagers that ’t Hart creates in his sardonic Lotte Weeda do indeed become delusional. A woman photographer is chosen to make portraits of the two hundred most important inhabitants of the town of Monward (anagram of Warmond, where the writer lives) for a book of photographs. The narrator, a biologist and best-selling author of a book on sex called De roekeloze buiteling (‘The Reckless Tumble’), is under her spell from the moment they meet: ‘the Creator uncharacteristically outdid himself’. But he admires her work too: ‘She seemed to be trying to get to the true…

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Het psalmenoproer

Het psalmenoproer

(De Arbeiderspers, 2006, 288 pagina's)

For years Maarten ’t Hart has been planning to write a historical novel (what he calls a documentary novel) about his birthplace Maassluis. Het psalmenoproer (Psalms and Riots) is that novel. At the macro-level the book deals with the eighteenth-century struggle between supporters and opponents of a new, faster way of singing psalms, a symptom of the conflict between Protestant factions.

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Verlovingstijd

Verlovingstijd

(De Arbeiderspers, 2009, 303 pagina's)

Maarten ’t Hart, one of the best loved and most popular authors in the Low Countries, wrote Verlovingstijd (Betrothal) to cheer himself up when confined to his bed after a fall from his bicycle. The story is about the friendship between the narrator – a character familiar to those who know ’t Hart’s works – and Joerie, his childhood best friend.

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De nachtstemmer

De nachtstemmer

(De Arbeiderspers, 2019, 320 pagina's)

Organ tuner Gabriel is sent by his employer from East Friesland to a small provincial town in South Holland. When he gets there, everything is foreign to him: the street names, the dreary clinking of anchor chains, the shrill sounds from the shipyards and factories, and most of all the people with their blunt, defensive answers to his questions.

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