Floortje Zwigtman

Floortje Zwigtman (b. 1974) is one of our most promising, remarkable and fearless contemporary writers of books for young people. Rather than following fashion, she writes lengthy historical novels, based on extensive research.

Children's books
Photo: Barry Marr

Her debut Spelregels (The Rules of the Game, 2001) was followed by Wolfsroedel (Wolf Pack, 2002), an historical epic about power and its abuse in the Balkans, and the masterly Schijnbewegingen (Tricks of the Trade, 2005), the first part of her recently completed Victorian trilogy ‘A Green Flower’. Zwigtman’s use of language is rich and powerful. She has deservedly won a number of prestigious literary awards and has been welcomed with open arms by readers and critics alike. Zwigtman regards Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights) and Melvin Burgess as literary models, admiring them for their honesty about human relationships. Another favorite is Astrid Lindgren, whom she respects for her imagination and versatility.

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Floortje Zwigtman

Tricks of the Trade

Rarely has a book for young adults been so eagerly anticipated as 'Tricks of the Trade', the third book by the popular young author Floortje Zwigtman. She understands better than anyone else that adolescents aren’t looking for a neat book of instructions for the future. These are stories that tell it like it is, historical novels about surviving in conditions where the laws and morals of polite society no longer seem to apply.

Floortje Zwigtman

The Rules of the Game

'Rules of the Game' is a historical novel for young readers, set in the Middle Ages, about an arranged marriage between two noble teenagers, which proceeds according to strict, patriarchal rules. After all, in the fourteenth century marriage is not a question of love, but of convenience, and so as a child Marjorie van de Witborg is already destined for Allard van Goudheuvel. We hear from both of them in turn, and they are quite candid about their feelings. When they get married, they hardly know each other.

Floortje Zwigtman

Mirror Boy

‘The story I want to tell needs time and space,’ Floortje Zwigtman said in an interview to mark the publication of 'Tegenspel' (Countermoves, 2007), the second part in her Dickensian trilogy ‘'Een groene bloem’ (A Green Flower). Fortunately, she allowed herself that time and space: 'Spiegeljongen' (Mirror Boy), the long-awaited 608-page final volume in the series, is now ready to be devoured.

Floortje Zwigtman

Wolf Pack

'Wolfsroedel' (Wolf Pack) is an impressive young people’s book: well written by a gifted author, it has a strong narrative that is relevant, originally structured and abounding in ideas. It is a complex, grown-up novel, a frame-work story in which a Romanian son talks about the tales that his father, Ion Brebu, once told him at the fireside. It’s a simple beginning, but Father’s own breathtaking story about the band of robbers to which he and two of his friends belonged in their youth pushes the narrow framework into the background, and the reader is drawn into a world as real as it is surreal.

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