Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (b. 1968) has published poetry, stage plays, essays, columns, travelogues, stories, political satires and nine novels.

Photo: Stephan Vanfleteren

In Het ware leven, een roman (Real Life. A Novel, 2006) he set out to play a game with world literature. La Superba (2014) showed Pfeijffer’s politically engaged side and won him the Libris Literature Prize. In 2017 his novel Peachez, een romance came out, followed, in 2018, by his bestselling novel Grand Hotel Europa, which sold over 350,000 copies in the Netherlands and has been translated into 24 languages. Alcibiades (2023) is his first work of historical fiction.

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Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

Peachez. A Romance

‘The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble’ ran the headline in 'The New York Times' in 2013, above an article about an Oxford professor of particle physics, Paul Frampton, who became the victim of ‘catfishing’. Surfing the internet, the physicist allowed himself to be tempted into committing a criminal offence by a busty photo model. At least, so he thought. Behind the model lurked a criminal cyber gang.

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer


'Alcibiades' is a sweeping epic about the eponymous diplomat, general, Olympic champion and ‘most beautiful man in Athens’, who uses schemes and plots to bluff his way through the Peloponnesian War. This novel sheds light on the daring democratic experiment that took place two and a half millennia ago, while also serving as a cautionary tale about the destructive power of populism. Classicist and author Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer has utilised his erudition and knowledge of Classical literature and culture to paint a picture of the Greek politician, strategist and general Alcibiades in all his complexity.

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

Grand Hotel Europa

An author by the name of Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer leaves Venice and moves into the stately Grand Hotel Europa for an indefinite period. His relationship with Clio, a clever hot-blooded art historian, has just fallen apart. In the hotel, where a sense of long-lost glory hangs in the air, he reconstructs exactly what went wrong with Clio and befriends the eccentric hotel staff and guests along the way.

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

La Superba

This novel is set in Genoa, the labyrinthine port city (nicknamed ‘the Superb’) where the author has been living for the past five years. Migration is the central theme of this autobiographical story about a writer who becomes trapped in his walk on the wild side.

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