Two of our most popular blog posts ever are on translated Dutch books, for kids and for adults. At ABC we try to always have the best and latest Dutch books in translation in stock. You can browse our recommendations here: Dutch Fiction, Dutch Nonfiction, and Dutch Kids Books.
However, foreign authors, especially Dutch and Flemish authors, have a hard time getting their books translated and published by a major UK or US publisher. Only 4% of all books published in the UK and the US every year are books translated into English from other languages.
Thankfully, Dutch publisher Eric Visser (who recently sold his famous Dutch publishing house De Geus) decided to take a risk and started a new publishing company over a year ago, devoted to publishing books in English that deserve a world wide public. With World Editions, Eric Visser and his team have already managed to publish 20+ books in the first year, translated into English from Dutch but also many other languages.
Recently published by World Editions is Birk by Jaap Robben , translated as You Have Me to Love. Birk was voted Best Book of the Year by Dutch bookstores in 2014 and got a raving lead review in the Irish Times earlier this year. You Have Me To Love was compared to Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Reviewer Eileen Battersby wrote: “Jaap Robben’s intense first adult novel offers a chilling insight into a damaged mind. It is a taut narrative heavy with a convincing sense of dread. … David Doherty’s sensitive translation is consistently alert to the nuances of the young boy’s responses and his growing awareness of – and introduction to – adult behaviour. It also realistically handles the coarser demands of some of the dialogue between other characters.”
Ventoux (Bert Wagendorp) also got a great review in the Guardian: “So Ventoux instantly joins my own extremely short list of outstanding literary novels in which sport plays a significant role.” – Richard Williams
As did She Is Not Me by Swedish/Iranian Golnaz Hashemzadeh: “Despite the savage harshness of the content, She Is Not Me is beautifully written, and the imagery is startlingly effective at refreshing your view of the world, even in translation: “they lived in that ice-bound silence for some time”; “shards of…words”. – The Guardian
Last January, ABC hosted the World Editions 1 year anniversary book party with famous Dutch and Flemish authors Renate Dorrestein, Esther Gerritsen*, Annelies Verbeke, Kristien Hemmerechts, Jolien Janzing and Yue Tao. The authors read from and talked about their books. Especially Kristien Hemmerechts enchanted the public by speaking in perfect (the Queen’s) English about her book The Woman Who Fed The Dogs. The event was hosted by author and ABC fan Christine Otten, whose work will be published in English later this year.
* Author Esther Gerritsen wrote het boekenweekgeschenk (annual Dutch book week gift) this year: Broer (Brother), with a print run of over 600.000 copies!
Renate Dorrestein, Esther Gerritsen, Annelies Verbeke.
Kristien Hemmerechts, Jolien Janzing, Yue Tao, Eric Visser/Christine Otten.