Tim Krabbé

Kathy’s Daughter

A surprising novel about a double love affair

Tim Krabbé sure knows how to write a thrilling story. In novels like De grot (The Grotto, 1997), De vertraging (The Delay, 1994) and Het gouden ei (The Golden Egg, 1987) he used all his skills to create great suspense. No wonder Krabbé is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers, and that his work has been translated into fifteen languages.

No surprise either, that no less than five of his novels have been made into films. Het gouden ei was even filmed twice – the first time in 1988 (Spoorloos [Vanished]), and again in 1993, when it was successfully remade for the U.S. market (The Vanishing). Krabbé himself wrote the scripts of Spoorloos, as well as the film version of De grot (2001).

Krabbé also writes autobiographical novels. Kathy’s dochter (Kathy’s Daughter, 2001), for instance, is about a lost love featuring Krabbé himself as the elderly writer he is today. The story begins with Krabbé receiving an email from Laura Westerdijk, informing him that her mother, Kathy Melsen, has died. Kathy was the woman with whom, when he was nineteen, he had a passionate – and, with hindsight, possibly ideal – relationship. Naturally, the message brings back memories, including the writer’s doubts about their dramatic parting thirtyseven years ago.

Krabbé gives his unpublished memoirs of Kathy to Laura, leading to a correspondence that develops into flirtation and, eventually, a meeting. It is love at first sight. Encountering his lost love – if only briefly – thus revives the old relationship and reflects Krabbé’s central theme, that true love exists only in death. This appears in Het gouden ei/Spoorloos/The Vanishing too, in which the protagonist’s search for his lost love leads to their reunion, but at a cost: like his loved one the protagonist is buried alive. In Kathy’s dochter the theme results in a poetic, though no less dramatic climax. Krabbé, however, gives Kathy (or is it Laura?) and himself a second chance by creating a happy ending. Because, just as love conquers death, art defeats reality

The story of Krabbé and his double love affair is surprisingly different and intense – almost touching.

Pieter Steinz in NRC Handelsblad

Once you’ve started this novel, it’s almost impossible to put down.

Willy Wielek in Trouw


Tim Krabbé

Tim Krabbé (b. 1943) earned international fame with Het gouden ei (The Vanishing, 1984), which as a film became a cult classic. His 1978 novel De renner (The Rider) is an international classic of sports literature. From Krabbé’s writing it is apparent that the author himself is a master of the…

lees meer


Kathy’s dochter (2001). Fiction, 274 pages.
Copies sold: 50,000



Herengracht 540
NL - 1017 CG Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 624 19 34
Fax: +31 20 622 54 61

[email protected]

lees meer