In 'Rozeke', we follow the ups and downs in the life of an Antwerp entrepreneur in the Belle Époque. In figurative language, Van der Stighelen describes how his namesake climbs the social ladder, but struggles on a personal level with himself and those around him.
In his monthly column, Dirk Vandenberghe draws attention to literary debuts from Flemish and Dutch writers which garnered less notice upon release than they deserve.
How to live? It’s no mean feat, even less so as a single lesbian woman with a desire to have children, as Brecht De Backer’s philosophical debut novel reveals.
Do you remember what you were doing on 14 February 1990? Not very likely. But author and screenwriter Stijn Vranken does remember, and it makes for an entertaining debut.
Hanan Faour, a Dutch author with Lebanese roots, has written a moving story about what it is like to discover the land of her father and brother.
In pared-back prose, Angelo Tijssens tells the story of a gay man’s laborious search for a speck of love and affection.
In her debut novel, Ananda Serné seizes upon a badly sleeping woman's search for footing to gently wake up the reader herself.
In her debut novel, Jante Wortel paints a stark portrait of a teenager whose family is held in the grip of her OCD.
Corinne Heyrman wrote a gripping novel about mental fragility.
Hannes Dedeurwaerder's semi-autobiographical debut novel about his upbringing in the Pentecostal community is an unusual glimpse into an otherwise closed world.
Nadia de Vries has written an angsty debut about a young woman afraid of remaining in the shadows.
Petra Thijs grants us a glimpse behind the scenes in the art world, with the remarkable life story of the life model for Edouard Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l'herbe.
A young woman in search of meaning is inspired by the wanderings of a Japanese monk from the nineteenth century.
A novel about art, about cycling, but perhaps above all a story about the fear of an insignificant life.
In her debut novel, Katrien Scheir portrays the often very difficult position of women in a #MeToo situation.
Tülin Erkan has written a debut novel about trying to find the right words and about how difficult it is to say goodbye to places and people.
Lisa Weeda's excellent debut novel tells the story of a divided Cossack family.
In his debut novel, Koen Caris exposes just how difficult it is to be left behind, especially in an oppressive, village setting.
In his debut novel, Dirk Elst manages to describe a life of poverty without romanticising it.
In her debut novel "Ongehoord" (Unheard) Pascale Petralia tells the story of how a victim gradually becomes ensnared in the net of someone obsessed. And no one can save her.
De Afwijking by debutant Dries Muus is a beautiful coming-of-age novel against the backdrop of an urban football environment.
In Was (Wax), debut author Jilt Jorritsma eschews linear time, constructing a mysterious and fascinating story.
Loes Wijnhoven has written a funny debut novel about a millennial living life passing from hotel to hotel.
This debut is a dreamy novel about the love of trees and the loneliness of surviving in a new country.
In her debut novel, Wuck paints a portrait of her hippy parents. The detached tone makes the novel stand out all the more.
In a loud monologue full of metaphors and reflections on life and literature, Karel De Sadeleer tells the story of Ali, a bubbly Swiss with Palestinian roots.
A captivating debut about a son who may want to break away from his mother, but gradually understands that this is impossible.
In 'Meral', author Froukje Santing subtly unravels the entanglements of a Dutch-Turkish family.
The debut novel by Dutch writer and performer Joost Oomen is a whimsical book brimming with wonderful fantasies.
They are a colourful and curious bunch, the artists that Hans Depelchin assembles in his debut novel Weekdier (Mollusc).
A melancholic and funny debut novel about people who tend to follow the herd but still want to be noticed.
Marije Langelaar’s debut novel is a short triptych in which dreams and reality are softly entwined, in search of perfect symbiosis.
Christina and Tom face the same dilemma: what to put first, each other or their careers in art?
Ewoud Kieft offers a lot of food for thought in his debut novel. Even the perfect world of the future is not to everyone’s taste.
Marieke De Maré has written a dreamy, poetic story about how people who at first live apart eventually come together.
Actress Romana Vrede writes a letter to her autistic son, which makes for a tough, but loving book.
In her debut novel, Valerie Tack unpicks skilfully how a young woman, marked by life, slowly but surely turns into a cold-blooded murderer.
‘Augustus’ by Irma Maria Achten is a sensual debut novel about improbable love, in which passion, a longing for death and family secrets play an important role.
Kevin van Vliet's debut novel 'Wolfsjong' is a classic tale with an edgy and dark side.
In her gripping debut novel ‘Hier is alles veilig’, Anneleen Van Offel tells her story with subtle clues, precise and detailed descriptions, in beautiful language.
In his debut novel ‘Uiterste dagen’, Ferdinand Lankamp undertakes a search for our motives, which can sometimes be very dark.
What makes you a mother? Fen Verstappen looks for answers in her touching debut novel ‘Moeder af’.
Who's helping who? That is the question in Siel Verhanneman's poignant debut novel, 'Or else everyone dies'.
‘Het nabestaan van Anna Portier’ is a poignant debut about mourning, dying and the lives we lead or don't.
Mariken Heitman has written a penetrating debut about gender identity.
Femke Vindevogel has written a blackly comic tale about a quest for one’s true self on the disadvantaged side of town.
In his first novel 'Vijd' Jonas Bruyneel paints a vibrant portrait of the Burgundian family who commissioned the world-famous 'Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' of the Van Eyck brothers.
In his debut novel Frank Heinen lays bare the state of the care system in contemporary society as well as the role played by the media in how we perceive certain events.
In her debut novel 'Niemand keek omhoog’ Evelien Vos raises the question: to what extent can we control our lives?
In Daniël Samkalden's ambitious debut novel 'Nova', the three main characters become more involved with one another than they would like.
In her debut novel 'Lam', singer-songwriter Hannelore Bedert paints the portrait of a strong woman, one who has suffered hard knocks but still struggles through life with her head held high.
In the science fiction novel 'Concept M' author Aafke Romeijn takes the reader forward to the Netherlands of 2020, where the disease of colourlessness makes for heated, polarizing debate and protest.
In her debut novel 'Ook bomen slapen', Annemarie Peeters intertwines the lives of former opera director Corneille and young opera singer Ofelia. With success.
Herlinde Leyssens wrote a story of a strong, rebellious, adventure-seeking woman, determined not to be stopped.
In her debut novel 'Kleihuid' (Clay Skin) Herien Wensink provokes with pressing questions, seen in the light of the First World War.