Dutch Fiction

Dutch Fiction Spring 2024

This new edition of New Dutch Fiction presents a selection of books recently published in the Netherlands, books that have been included for their artistic and commercial success.

Joost de Vries

Higher Powers

It’s the early decades of the 20th century. James Welmoed is too British for his Dutch school – just like he’ll be too Dutch for London later in life. In 1930s Indonesia, he is an inscrutable member of the colonial establishment. No one knows what to make of him – including Elisabeth van Elsenburg, an eighteen-year-old so witty she could only be the brainchild of an author with a keen intellect and boundless dexterity. She’ll grow up to be a writer, but first she embarks on a love affair with Welmoed which, even though it will be cut short, will shape both their lives.

Daan Heerma van Voss

No Goodbye Today

‘Someone is already going to die in this chapter,’ the nameless narrator cautions on the very first page of No Goodbye Today. En route to his holiday destination, Oskar van Bohemen collapses at Schiphol Airport, which turns out to be a place of departure in more ways than one. From there, we follow his three grown children, who each had their own difficult relationship with him and experience his death in very different ways.

Rob van Essen

I’ll Come Back to This Later

Few things are as tempting as musing on what might have happened if you’d taken a different turn at some point in your life. Rob van Essen’s new book, 'I’ll Come Back to This Later', is a gripping, hilarious exploration of what might happen if we were able to fix our past mistakes. It’s a lightfooted philosophical novel – a Dutch counterpart to Paul Auster’s '4 3 2 1'.

Lisa Weeda

Dance Dance Revolution

In four magical realist storylines about the war between the fictional countries of Besulia and Tenebria, Lisa Weeda draws parallels with the Russo-Ukrainian war, which has been dragging on for almost a decade. Cynicism and indifference to what’s happening in war zones – that sums up the attitude of many people in the West. The characters in 'Dance Dance Revolution' don’t have this luxury.