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A Quattro Mani

Photographer Marc Brester and journalist Vivian de Gier can read and write with each other - literally. As partners in crime, they travel the world for various media, for reviews of the finest literature and personal interviews with the writers who matter. Ahead of the troops and beyond the delusion of the day.

Sensitive and scintillating: Sholeh Rezazadeh's beautiful new novel is one not to forget

After her acclaimed and award-winning debut novel The sky is always purple, Sholeh Rezazadeh impresses again with her second book. I Know a Mountain Waiting for Me is a tender, delicately sensitive and sumptuous novel. Stunningly sensitive It is hard to believe that Iranian-born writer and poet Sholeh Rezazadeh (1989) has only lived in the Netherlands since 2015. Her command of language and manner of... 

Turbulent Greek history. 'Niki' by Christos Chomenidis is a captivating family chronicle

In his award-winning novel Niki, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis tells the turbulent story of his mother and her family. But above all, he tells the reader about 30 years of troubled Greek history.Family chronicle With the captivating family chronicle Niki, awarded the Prix du Livre Européen two years ago, Greek writer Christos Chomenidis (1966) tells two histories: that of his mother Niki and... 

Writer Javier Zamora ©Apollo Fields

Writer Javier Zamora fled motherless alone from El Salvador to the US as a child: 'Only now do I sometimes feel happy'

When he was nine, Javier Zamora (33) travelled with the help of people smugglers from El Salvador to the United States, where his parents had been living for several years. For two months, he had no contact with his family and no one knew where he was. The deep marks this journey left only healed two decades later, partly through the writing of his memoir Solito.... 

The dark backrooms of the mind. Masterfully Philippe Claudel dissects human behaviour in his new novel 'Twilight'

In his new novel Twilight, Philippe Claudel dissects man's dark motives as usual. French author Philippe Claudel does not have an overly cheerful view of man, as his compellingly told novels show. Twilight is the latest shoot on the impressive tree of his oeuvre, and fits in seamlessly. As he did in previous novels such as Grey Souls (2003), The Report of Brodeck (2007)... 

Writer Federico Falco

Digging in the earth to dispel grief. The Plains is a beautiful, wistful novel by Federico Falco

In The Plains by Argentine writer Federico Falco, a writer returns to life in the country after breaking up with his lover. This makes for a beautiful, wistful novel about grief, origins and the nature of life itself. 'No single word tames grief. No word dispels it. No word can truly express it.' Those thoughts... 

Joris Linssen, photo by Jerney Hakkenberg

'I need others to flourish.' Six life insights from TV presenter Joris Linssen

In his life and work, the well-known presenter Joris Linssen (1966) experiences a lot and meets many special people. He has compiled the life insights he gained in his recently published book If you go with the flow, you will stand still. 'If you dare to choose adventure, you will be rewarded for it.' 'From taking risks, you get... 

The empty modern life of two digital nomads

Living and working in a metropolis as a digital nomad or creative professional, on a terrace with your laptop and a latte macchiato. A dream for many people, doing well on social media. Around that fact revolves The Perfections, the short novel with which Vincenzo Latronico made the longlist of the Premio Strega, the most important Italian literary prize. The... 

The Virgin Mary as a woman of flesh and blood. Handsome debut novel by Dieuwertje Mertens

It is sometimes said of reviewers that they actually wish they were writers themselves. A cliché, of course, but perhaps also somewhat true. Dieuwertje Mertens (1983), literary critic for Het Parool, laughs affirmatively. "Yes, look, I have written a book, so it is clear that I also want to be an author. But not instead of. I like very much... 

Great little novel 'Malacqua' more topical than ever after 50 years

Extreme weather - the novel Malacqua, about how the city of Naples is ravaged for days by heavy rainfall, is more topical than ever not only because of its subject matter. The book may date from 1977, but Nicola Pugliese's tantalising and unusual writing style, also thanks to Annemart Pilon's excellent translation, is still surprising, fresh and modern today. Quirky author The... 

Moving story about the marginalised existence of Argentine 'transvestis'

In False Bitches, Camila Sosa Villada grants the reader an intimate and moving glimpse into the colourful, but also harsh and lonely existence of (Argentine) transsexuals. And thus holds a merciless mirror up to the intolerant, judgmental society. A 'party' 'Being a transvesti is a party' was the motto of Angie, one of Camila Sosa Villada's transgender friends. An incantation... 

Writer Laura Restrepo ©Elena Restrepo

'The Queen of Saba was a migrant.' 'Song of old lovers': a rich, engaging and intelligent novel by Laura Restrepo

The work of Colombian writer Laura Restrepo (73) has long been forgotten in the Netherlands. With her new, impressive novel Song of old lovers, she makes a well-deserved comeback. She already has 13 novels to her name. Yet Colombian writer Laura Restrepo, who lives mostly in Spain, is a rather unknown to most Dutch... 

'This is me, listen to me, look at me!' Frank interview with Erwin Olaf on life, love and death

This week, photographer Erwin Olaf died, aged 64. Just before his 60th birthday, we interviewed him about his work, life and love. Olaf also spoke candidly about his illness, how it forced him to make choices ánd made him milder. 'I am in renewal,' he said. And: 'In my life, I have done everything I wanted to do.' 

Powerful and moving novel about the price of freedom by Najat el Hachmi

Raw and moving is Catelan-Moroccan writer Najat el Hachmi's new novel, Monday We Will Be Loved. An impressive story about the meaning of true freedom, and the price you have to pay for it. 'Monday, Monday, Monday... Monday we will be different. Monday we will be loved.' Every week, young woman Naïma tries to... 

Writer Richard Osinga ©Keke Keukelaar

A puzzle with time. Richard Osinga's cruel but also loving new novel 'Coin'

Some writers are at the forefront, others write their novels in the lee. Richard Osinga (51) belongs to the latter category. With each book, he gains in eloquence. Mint is the new shoot on the stem of his increasingly interesting oeuvre. At one point, Richard Osinga himself was a little too lazy. After his novel... 

Dutch-Romanian writer Stefan Popa ©Gaby Jongenelen

Stefan Popa's new novel: an exciting and tasty dish

In his new, fifth novel, writer Stefan Popa (1989) returns to Romania, which previously served as the setting for his debut novel Vanished Borders. The novel's protagonist is a 'half-breed', just like the writer, but the other way round. While Popa, is a son of a Dutch mother and Romanian father, protagonist Alex Petrescu, on the contrary, has a Romanian mother and... 

Writer Nhung Dam is increasingly embracing her Vietnamese roots. 'My background is also a gift.'

Writer and theatre-maker Nhung Dam (38) tried to be as Dutch as possible, but is increasingly embracing her Vietnamese roots. Because these are precisely what make her unique, she now realises, and offer a wealth of stories. Including for her second novel, Definition of Love. Two worlds Nhung Dam (38) more or less grew up in two worlds. Her cradle was in... 

Author's photo - Niccolò Ammaniti

Niccolò Ammaniti on his new book and protagonist: 'I had actually fallen a bit in love with her'

In his new novel, Italian bestselling author Niccolò Ammaniti (56) wittily holds up a mirror to modern man. His protagonist, the wife of the Italian prime minister, is afraid of being blackmailed with a sex video. "I don't know if I would have the same courage as her in such a situation," he says. Storytelling fun With novels like I Pick You Up, I Take You and I... 

Spanish writer Fernando Aramburu ©Iván Giménez Tusquets Editores

What would our lives be like if we knew at birth when we were going to die? Fernando Aramburu on his new novel 'Counting the days'

With his previous novel Homeland, Spanish author Fernando Aramburu captured the hearts of readers across Europe. The bestseller about the consequences of violence by the Basque separatist movement ETA, won three awards and HBO adapted the book into a television series. His new one, Counting the Days, is a more intimate story, about a man who decides on a... 

A meditation on beauty, joy and gratitude. Manuel Vilas picks up where he left off with 'Ordesa'

In Joy, the sequel to Manuel Vila's bestseller Ordesa, the protagonist is searching for himself and for little sparks of joy. In his rather barren and difficult existence, this is not yet easy. It must have been a double feeling. With his personal novel Ordesa (published in 2018, a story about the death of his parents and the existential emptiness... 

Abstract Book cover - Masso, The river is a wound full of fish

Powerful literary debut by Colombian Lorena Salazar Masso

With The river is a wound full of fish, Colombian Lorena Salazar Masso makes a powerful literary debut. What does it mean to be a mother, when do you actually BE a mother? Can you be a mother even if you did not give birth to your child yourself? As a mother without a child, are you still a mother? That is the theme of the... 

What is left of love in the midst of the everyday grind? Perfect Days is a novel about the power of imagination

A story about love, but above all an ode to imagination. Perfect Days by Spanish writer Jacobo Bergareche is a passionate novel. Deadly marriage With the excuse that it is necessary for his work, Spanish journalist Luis visits a conference in Austin, Texas. But actually, the trip is mostly an excuse for his dead-blooded marriage to Paula... 

Paolo Giordano ©Marc

Where to find solace and safety in a shaky world? Bestselling author Paolo Giordano searches for a Tasmania

What do you hold on to when not only the world is tottering, but also your own life? Where then can you find a safe place, a future? That is what Tasmania, Paolo Giordano's new book, is about. Crisis What came first: the worries about climate change and other world crises, or the crisis in his own life? The first-person narrator in Tasmania, a... 

'Someday I will allow myself to cry.' Roberto Saviano made a graphic novel about his devastated life after 'Gomorrah'

Since Roberto Saviano published his book Gomorrah and incurred the hatred of the Italian mafia, he has been living in hiding. What that is like, the graphic novel I'm still alive shows and feels razor-sharp. Roberto Saviano is 12 when he witnesses at first hand the murder of a man in his neighbourhood by the mafia. Fifteen years later,... 

Bestselling author Maria Dueñas wrote a sequel about spy Sira Quiroga: 'She had to suffer a little'

Her debut novel The Sound of the Night, in which simple seamstress Sira Quiroga became a spy for the British secret service, became a global bestseller a decade ago. Now Spanish writer María Dueñas (58) is out with a new novel in which she takes Sira to task. 'She did have to suffer a little.' Second part Because of the somewhat... 

'We will be surrounded by fiction.' Jeroen Olyslaegers on his new novella, the illusion of possession and modern escapism

They are quite the characters, the main characters in the books of Jeroen Olyslaegers (55). Laughingly, he talks about Wilfried Wils, the protagonist of his 2016 bestseller Wil, who never stopped talking to his creator. 'He kept commenting. I hadn't experienced a book staying alive like that before. When the book was awarded... 

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