Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds

Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
   from Holland
N  ederlands
dutch foundation
for literature     Autumn 2019
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
2                                                     Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Dutch Foundation for Literature

The Dutch Foundation for Literature has the           Writers-in-Residence                                  Dutch Foundation
task of supporting writers and translators,           The Foundation coordinates writer-in-residence        for Literature
                                                                                                            Nieuwe Prinsengracht 89
and of promoting Dutch literature abroad.             programmes together with foreign universities
                                                                                                            NL – 1018 VR Amsterdam
It is an independent organization, supported          and institutions. International authors are invited   t +31 20 520 73 00
by the Ministry of Education, Culture and             to spend time working in Amsterdam. They may          post@letterenfonds.nl
Science.                                              stay one or two months at the writers’ lodgings       www.letterenfonds.nl
                                                      above the Athenaeum Bookshop on the Spui.
The Foundation’s advisors on literary fiction,                                                              Non-Fiction
quality non-fiction, poetry and children’s and        International Visitors Programme
youth literature are present each year at             The visitors programme and the annual
prominent book fairs, including Frankfurt,            Amsterdam Fellowships offer publishers and
London, Beijing and Bologna. Books from               editors the opportunity to acquaint themselves
Holland, Quality Non-Fiction from Holland and         with the publishing business and the literary
Children’s Books from Holland recommend               infrastructure of the Netherlands.
highlights from each category’s selection.
                                                      Translators’ House                                    Mireille Berman
Translation Grants                                    The Translators’ House offers translators the         m.berman@letterenfonds.nl
Foreign publishers wishing to publish a trans­        opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam for
lation of Dutch or Frisian literature may apply for   a period of time. It is involved with numerous
a subsidy towards the translation costs. Having       activities assisting and advancing translators’
acquired the rights, the publisher’s application      skills. Each year the Literary Translation Days are
must be accompanied by a copy of the contract         held for those translating into and from Dutch.
with the rights owner and a copy of the
contract with the translator. Application forms       Schwob: Discovering International Classic
are available from the Foundation’s website.          Works of Fiction
                                                                                                            Michele Hutchison
Subsidies are paid after receipt of complimen-        Schwob draws attention to and supports as-yet         m.hutchison@letterenfonds.nl
tary copies, with printed acknowledgement of          undiscovered, untranslated classics of world
the Foundation’s support. A sample translation        literature. Each month the editors select new         Fiction
may be required and evaluated by our external         titles on www.schwob.nl.                              Barbara den Ouden
                                                                                                            Eastern and Middle Europe,
advisors. Applications for translations that have
                                                                                                            Mediterranean countries, Russia
already been published cannot be taken into                                                                 b.den.ouden@letterenfonds.nl
consideration. Publishers looking for a qualified
translator can request a list of endorsed                                                                   Victor Schiferli
translators for their language area.                                                                        Scandinavia, Germany,
                                                                                                            English-language countries
                                                                                                            and poetry
Illustrated Books                                                                                           v.schiferli@letterenfonds.nl
In the case of illustrated children’s books and/or
graphic novels, foreign publishers can apply for                                                            Tiziano Perez
assistance to cover a portion of the production                                                             Brazil, China
                                                                                                            Alexandra Koch
Promotional Travel                                                                                          Schwob
The Foundation is able to support a publisher                                                               a.koch@letterenfonds.nl
wishing to invite an author for interviews or
                                                                                                            Children’s Books
public appearances. Literary festivals are
                                                                                                            Agnes Vogt
likewise eligible for support. Additionally, the                                                            a.vogt@letterenfonds.nl
Foundation organises international literary
events in co-operation with local publishers,                                                               See also
festivals and book fairs.                                                                                   en.letterenfonds.nl
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
3                                              Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Roanne van Voorst
We Used to Eat Animals
How to prepare for a vegetarian future

In the last thirty years veganism has          to outline the factors underlying this         Roanne van Voorst (b. 1983) is
exploded among younger generations             fundamental cultural shift away from           an anthropologist and writer of
                                                                                              non-fiction as well as fiction. She is
around the world. Today it’s not just          animal products — 750 million vegans in
                                                                                              the author of various books including
popular and mainstream: #vegan effuses         2015 as compared to just a few million         the praised You Are Different
success, sexiness; it’s cool. While most of    worldwide in the 1990s.                        from Us: Young and Immigrant in
us grew up eating ‘essential’ animal               Diving into history, the author interro-   the Netherlands (2010) and The
products, the greater conscious shift          gates the seemingly iron-wrought (read:        Best Place In the World: Living in
                                                                                              the Slums of Jakarta (2016).
away from those same products, be it as        marketing-wrought) narratives surround-
a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, is         ing our current diet convictions and           Publishing details
gaining a momentum that will soon be           addresses nutrition concerns (yes, there       Ooit aten wij dieren (2019)
hard, if not impossible to stop.               are other sources of protein). What do         256 pp.
                                               recent food hypes like kale and poke           Podium
                                                                                              English sample available
According to anthropologist Roanne van         bowls have in common with established
Voorst, we are living in one of history’s      and trusted friends milk and whole grain       Rights
transitional moments, a fundamental            cereal? She also investigates modern           US & World Rights: HarperOne
tipping point. More and more scientists        intensive farming techniques, cognitive        Catherine Barbosa-Ross
and futurists predict that eating meat and     dissonance and veganism’s influence on         catherine.barbosa-ross
dairy will be banned or become taboo. Our      our sense of self, while speaking with
vegan grandchildren will ask us how we         farm owners who have made the switch.          Photo: Tjitske van Leeuwen
ever could have lived and eaten as we did.     Van Voorst examines our diet’s part in
The idea that every week more animals are      gender roles and sexuality, as we are
killed for human consumption than              introduced to ‘vegansexuals’ and asked to
humans who have died in all wars in            take a hard look at meat’s place in Western
human history combined is something we         masculinity.
can hardly imagine now and may struggle            Not changing our diets is no longer an
to understand in the future.                   option: ‘When you have the freedom to
   It is difficult, however, to abandon such   choose what you eat, every meal is a
fundamental beliefs, especially without an     political action, a decision to support
alternative vision of how you can still eat    certain suppliers, and to boycott others.
good food and stay healthy. How to             It is an investment in one food’s develop-
imagine a vegetarian future? Van Voorst        ment over another.’
uses her personal journey as a springboard

                                               ‘Van Voorst discusses dozens of
                                               confirmations for her positive
                                               message in daily life and history, and
                                               cleverly alternates them with her
                                               personal experiences, intelligent
                                               observations and practically the
                                               entire, mammoth dossier of Horrific
                                               Examples from the food industry.’
                                               – De Volkskrant

                                               ‘A new course in times of climate
                                               shame and anxiety’
                                               – Het Parool
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
4                                                  Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Corien van Zweden
A Biography
An accessible and enlightening narrative-led investigation
of this intimate body part

When the doctors tell Corien van Zwe-              generational and cultural divides. How are    Corien van Zweden (b. 1962)
den, after a recurrence of cancer, that her        women’s attitudes to their bodies affected    studied Theology and has been
                                                                                                 working as a freelance journalist
left breast will need to be removed, she           by a society in which today’s teenagers are
                                                                                                 since 1994. She writes on themes
is startled by their presumption that an           literally bombarded with hundreds of          such as health care and psychiatry,
immediate ‘reconstruction’ is what she             thousands of images to compare them-          education and development aid.
wants, or indeed needs. With more                  selves with? The market for enlargement       In 2008, she published The Art of
questions than answers, she resolves to            and reduction surgeries grows in leaps and    Grieving, which she followed up in
                                                                                                 2015 with A Bite Out of the Sun:
understand her breasts on a biological             bounds each year.
                                                                                                 Five Faces of Cancer.
level, but also to recognize what they                Van Zweden expands on these experi-
mean to her, to other women and to                 ences at each of the breast’s three life      Publishing details
society as a whole.                                stages — growth, blossoming and de-           Borsten. De levensloop van
                                                   cline — and dives into the current debates,   een intiem lichaamsdeel (2019)
                                                                                                 285 pp.
In this investigative biography, Van Zweden        including why women have breasts (that
                                                                                                 De Bezige Bij
leads readers through the many transfor­           they attract men is a disputed theory), how   English sample available
mations breasts undergo as well as their           to weigh up the benefits of breastfeeding
shifting roles from the day a girl first notices   against the (environmental) toxins present    Rights
her nipples changing, to what one third of         in breast milk, and the psychology of         Marianne Schönbach Agency
                                                                                                 Marianne Schönbach
women will later face — breast cancer, and         prosthetics. We meet plastic surgeons,
then to the changes brought about by               sexologists, porn stars, philosophers and
menopause. The only body part that we              lactation experts as Van Zweden consults      Rights sold
are not born with, the breast’s unique             the latest scientific research and delves     Poland (Wydawictwo Kobiece
ability to transform itself on a cellular level    into history to trace changes in the ways     Lukasz Kierus)
tragically makes it more susceptible to            we experience breasts — big and small,
                                                                                                 Photo: Hanna Hachula
cancer. Roughly a quarter of all tumours           hidden or revealed — and their indisput-
occur in the breasts; numbers which are            able role in femininity.
only increasing in the western world.                 The story of the breast is not just the
   Though told primarily through the               story of the woman who has them, but the
window of her own experiences, Breasts             story of those who behold them and who
offers a mosaic of women’s testimonies,            judge them, and the professionals who
detailing their relationship with their            concern themselves with them. At the end
breasts, be it one of apathy, obsession, joy,      of the book, Van Zweden poignantly
sadness, pride or disgust. These multiple          reveals why she finally decides not to have
and complex feelings are often dictated by         her breast replaced.

                                                   ‘That Breasts has something melancholic about it,
                                                   turns out to be Van Zweden’s greatest merit.
                                                   Because that is how we withdraw the female body
                                                   from the sexualized gaze: by sometimes letting
                                                   things also be sad.’
                                                   – De Groene Amsterdammer

                                                   ‘Van Zweden undertakes a more than worthy
                                                   attempt to clear up a large part of our ignorance
                                                   about breasts.’
                                                   – HUMO

                                                   ‘An enlightening book that every woman
                                                   should read.’
                                                   – ZIN
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
5                                               Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Jelmer Mommers
How Are We Going to Explain This?
Our Future On An Ever Warmer Planet
A timely overview, with a positive slant,
of the latest science on climate change

Climate change’s complexity and its             regulators. In a society historically based    Jelmer Mommers (b. 1987) reports
abstract future consequences make it            on abusing the planet’s ‘infinite’ resources   on climate change for De Corres­
                                                                                               pondent. In 2017 he made world
difficult to fathom, let alone feel empow-      for short-term gain, what role have
                                                                                               news when he unearthed an old
ered enough to address. In How Are We           businesses and governments played? What        climate film made by Shell. In 2018
Going to Explain This? Jelmer Mommers           are the very serious issues with the easy      he published internal Shell docu-
presents a disarmingly concise and              ‘solutions’ they are now reaching for?         ments, which later provided the
considered explanation of the global               No less crucial is to know where we are     basis for Milieudefensie’s lawsuit
                                                                                               against the Dutch company.
climate crisis and reveals the effective        headed, or can go. Besides presenting a
                                                                                               Previously Mommers worked as
tools a growing movement is turning to.         clear spectrum of future outcomes be-          a researcher and online editor at
Tools you can pick up today to help create      tween business as usual and collectively       De Groene Amsterdammer, the
and maintain a sustainable future.              achieving the optimistic UN Climate Goal       investigative journalism platform
                                                of holding the global temperature increase     Investico and De Gids.
Drawing on the latest research and              to 1.5°C, Mommers helps us picture the
                                                                                               Publishing details
statistics, Mommers makes it painfully          shocking differences between a planet          Hoe gaan we dit uitleggen? (2019)
clear: climate change is the single greatest    heated by 1.5°C and one by 2.0°C. In doing     240 pp.
threat facing our species. If left unchecked,   so, he leaves no doubt that every decimal      De Correspondent
it will affect the economies of 90% of the      point of change is worth fighting for.         10,000 copies sold
                                                                                               English sample available
world’s population. From nomadic                   The author examines the political, legal
hunter-gatherers with little effect on the      and individual means we have as citizens       Rights
planet we have become an advanced               and consumers to force the necessary           Janklow & Nesbit Associates
industrial civilization that has unwittingly    shift. Among other cases, we learn how         Rebecca Carter
managed to delay the next ice age while         action group Urgenda sued the Dutch            rcarter@janklow.co.uk
simultaneously placing our world at risk.       government for gross negligence, and
                                                                                               Rights sold
    Mommers’ analysis pinpoints the             won, forcing the state to cut emissions,       World English (Profile Books)
philosophical, historical and economic          and inspiring similar lawsuits around the
roots of the world view that has led            world. Divestment campaigns, political
humanity to this moment, from Descartes         parties, consumer boycotts, changing the
to Capitalism and the Industrial Revolu-        ways in which we travel — ever pragmatic,
tion. Enlisting the help of graphs and          Mommers readily admits that this is
diagrams from climate reports, he deftly        a process that will take longer in some
illustrates climate change’s mechanics,         sectors than others — nevertheless,
and how human activity is overwhelming          a sustainable future is achievable.
the planet’s natural greenhouse gas

                                                ‘Crystal clear and rousing. Mommers can
                                                explain the climate story like no other — clearly
                                                and convincingly.’ David Van Reybrouck, author
                                                of Congo and Against Democracy

                                                ‘Mommers shows that we must enter into a slow
                                                and difficult battle that will prove worthwhile.
                                                The goal is an inhabitable planet.’
                                                – New Scientist
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
6                                                Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Geert Mak
Great Expectations
In Europe II, 1999–2019
Mak traces the loss of European optimism
and the dismantling of the postwar order

While In Europe (2004) covered the               polar region to the tragic shores of Lampe-    Geert Mak was born in 1946. His
tumultuous 20th century and the legacy of        dusa, and from the Muslim suburbs of           books have been translated into 22
                                                                                                languages; well-known English titles
the two world wars, Great Expectations           Copenhagen to the halls of power in
                                                                                                include Amsterdam, My Father’s
takes stock of the early 21st century. Mak       Putin’s ‘new and patriotic’ Moscow, Mak        Century, In Europe, In America:
turns his keen eye to the controversial          explores the remains of Europe’s old           Travels with Steinbeck, and The
roll-out of the euro, the impact of terror-      dreams — peace, prosperity, democracy,         Many Lives of Jan Six. He has won
ism, the evaporation of European opti-           and growing unity — and today’s night-         wide critical acclaim in the interna-
                                                                                                tional press and numerous awards,
mism, post-communist life in Eastern             mares: the new arms race, populism,
                                                                                                including the Leipziger Buchpreis
Europe and Russia, the financial crisis,         Russian espionage, climate change... ‘It       and the Prins Bernhard Prize.
the transatlantic relationship, northern         was strange to cycle around Amsterdam,         A television series based on Great
versus southern Europe, and the refugees.        which is partly under sea level, and realize   Expectations will air on Dutch
                                                 that after its centuries-long history, its     television, radio and online in the
                                                                                                autumn of 2019.
Picking up where In Europe left off, at the      days are numbered.’ Will Germany rise to
euphoric, neoliberal start of the new            its new geopolitical role? Will the region’s   Publishing details
millennium, Mak looks at how Europe’s            squabbling nation-states rediscover their      Grote verwachtingen. In Europa,
values met with unprecedented challenges         solidarity?                                    1999 – 2019 (November 2019)
from without and within. We learn of                Mak writes, ‘Once we thought Western        496 pp.
                                                                                                Atlas Contact
Putin’s carefully orchestrated career, the       freedom and democracy would gradually
rising fear of jihad after the 9/11 attacks,     spread to the East and the rest of the         English sample available online:
the uncomfortable process of enlarging           world. Now we seem to be witnessing the        https://www.beerights.com/author/
the European Union, ‘the large-scale             opposite trend. Europe is uncertain,           geert-mak/
drowning of Africa’s poor’ in the Mediter-       divided, and weakened. Russia seizes every
ranean, the rejection of the European            opportunity to sow new discord. China
                                                                                                Bee Rights
Constitution, the causes and tremendous          has rushed to fill the gaps left by Western    Marijke Nagtegaal
costs of the banking crisis, the resurfacing     Europe in Central Europe, the Balkans,         m.nagtegaal@debezigebij.nl
of antisemitism in Poland, the success of        and Greece. Still further West, the Ameri-     www.beerights.com/contact/
populist parties in Eastern and Western          can president is pursuing much the same
Europe, the great euro crisis observed           policy of destabilization as the Russians      Photo: Merlijn Doomernik

from a street corner in Athens, the racism       and rapidly dismantling the rules and
faced by immigrants in the wealthy West,         institutions of the postwar world order.
the rise of the ‘tourist destination’, Catalo-   The old, transatlantic world of the late
nia’s national dream, and the mounting           twentieth century is, in the words of the
unease in the face of Trump and Brexit.          New York Times columnist Roger Cohen,
   In a vast sweep from Norway’s melting         “gone, man, solid gone.”'

                                                 On In Europe:
                                                 ‘Moving across a vivid historical
                                                 landscape, his portrait of Europe, in
                                                 all her bloody barbarism and civilised
                                                 glory, helps us confront exactly what
                                                 we need to know…. a timely book, and
                                                 one we can’t afford to ignore.’
                                                 – Daily Telegraph

                                                 ‘His genius as a historian is his instinct
                                                 for human stories… Mak is the history
                                                 teacher everyone should have had.’
                                                 – Financial Times
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
7                                             Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Abram de Swaan
Against Women
The Fight against Emancipation
The history, the global transformations powering the rise of women,
and the backlash

Over the past fifty years, education has      educational reform. Women have made            Abram de Swaan was awarded the
improved, especially for girls and young      their way into all levels of the school and    prestigious position of University
                                                                                             Professor of Social Science at the
women, and machines have taken over the       university system, even in countries where
                                                                                             University of Amsterdam in 2001.
heavy work traditionally done by men.         you would least expect it. And higher levels   His many teaching appointments
This has liberated many women from            of education have been shown to raise          included the Collège de France in
dependence on men for financial support       women’s feminist consciousness, making         Paris and Columbia University in
or physical protection and allowed them       them more likely to have fewer children.       New York. De Swaan’s most
                                                                                             successful books include In Care
to flourish in the workplace. But now,        While the inequalities between women and
                                                                                             of the State, Words of the World,
men’s wounded pride is leading to             men remain very real, De Swaan points to       and The Killing Compartments, all
tensions.                                     the huge strides taken over the past forty     published in English editions. His
                                              years in areas such as politics, health care   writings have been translated into
Swaan sees the rise of the new extreme        and the work force and explains why            twelve languages. He was a
                                                                                             columnist for the national news­
right, Christian fundamentalism, and          emancipation can only continue to spread.
                                                                                             paper NRC Handelsblad for many
jihadism as a response to women’s libera-        This sets the stage for the groundbreak-    years and won the prestigious P.C.
tion. This is his simple thesis, which he     ing third section, in which de Swaan           Hooft Prize in 2008 for his oeuvre.
proves in three steps. His first section is   sketches the origins of opposition to
a lucid overview of the many ways patriar-    women’s liberation. He lays out the            Publishing details
                                                                                             Tegen de vrouwen. De wereldwijde
chies exercise their ‘reign of terror’ over   evidence for the surprising theory that
                                                                                             strijd van rechtsisten en jihadisten
women. Girl babies are tossed out like        such disparate groups as jihadists, evangel-   tegen de emancipatie (2019)
rubbish, girls are forced to marry adult      ical Christians, Latin American machos,        240 pp.
men (‘nothing more than legalized paedo-      ultraorthodox Jews and the secular             Prometheus
philia’), and their genitals and faces are    extreme right are entrenched in sexism         English sample available
permanently mutilated. As young women,        and motivated by the same ‘male resent-
they face threats such as rape and honour     ment’. Along the way, he offers glimpses of    Prometheus (English),
killings. De Swaan avoids the fallacy of      their terrifying misogynistic subcultures,     Le Seuil (all others)
‘anti-Islamic enthusiasm’, instead showing    such as the alt-right online forums where      foreignrights@pbo.nl
how all forms of dogmatism support the        women are, at best, the bearers of ‘bounc-     droitsetrangers@seuil.com
ideology of male supremacy and pointing       ing baby whites’.
                                                                                             Rights sold
out the many forms of male dominance             In Against Women, Abram de Swaan            French (Le Seuil)
that persist in the West.                     steers a sure course through the minefields
   The second section describes the           of contemporary cultural politics and never
unstoppable rise of women in today’s          shies from confronting blind spots and
world, which he attributes mainly to          prejudice, even his own.

                                              ‘An exceptionally lively and readable account
                                              that fearlessly makes its way through today’s
                                              political minefields with a mix of
                                              sociological insights, level-headed self-
                                              analysis, and cut-the-crap reasoning.’
                                              – Trouw

                                              ‘De Swaan’s book is uninhibitedly political
                                              and activist. It forms the exact counterpart
                                              of the essay Thierry Baudet wrote for
                                              American Affairs under the title “Houellebecq’s
                                               Unfinished Critique of Liberal Modernity”.’
                                              – De Groene Amsterdammer

                                              Nominated for the Bookspot non-fiction
                                              prize 2019.
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
8                                               Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Kemal Rijken
Our People First
How Right-Wing Nationalism Conquered Europe
New insights into nationalistic populism based
on extensive interviews with its leading players

Though right-wing nationalist parties           old guard by the younger generation and          Kemal Rijken (b. 1980) is a
have largely been shunned by the politi-        the transformations each bring. Building on      journalist and author. He writes
                                                                                                 about politics, the government and
cal establishment as racist, xenophobic         extensive interviews with many key players
                                                                                                 minorities in Dutch society for NRC,
or even Nazi since their emergence in the       like Jean-Marie Le Pen, Alexander                De Groene Amsterdammer and
1980s, they now form almost thirty percent      Gauland, Umberto Bossi, Nigel Farage and         Het Parool. His published works
of the European Parliament. Across              Filip Dewinter as well as former prime           include Roma, a book about the
Europe, these once small, marginalized          ministers and politicians, he sketches a         Sinti and Roma in the Netherlands,
                                                                                                 The Westermoskee, a history of
movements have booked political upsets          human portrait of a political field in which
                                                                                                 religious freedom in the
in their home countries and have been           strong personalities and big egos reign. As      Netherlands, as well as the critically
expanding their political influence             readers given access to the movement’s           acclaimed biography Van der Laan,
through international collaboration.            inner mechanisms, we witness the                 about Amsterdam’s highly popular
                                                deliberate shift towards a more stable           late mayor.
Rather than excluding or blocking these         professionalization.
                                                                                                 Publishing details
parties, which will only feed their growing        We meet figures like Thierry Baudet
                                                                                                 Eigen Volk (2019)
popularity, young thinker Kemal Rijken          and Matteo Salvini, witness the internal         466 pp.
maintains that today we must heed and           quarrels and moral dilemmas party heads          Ambo Anthos
confront their arguments in an exchange         face in their associations, intentional or
                                                not, with right-wing extremists. By charting     Rights
of ideas and visions that will make our
                                                                                                 Marianne Schönbach Agency
democracy stronger. Our People First            the progression of the European political
                                                                                                 Marianne Schönbach
therefore presents a comprehensive history      scene over the years, Rijken also highlights     m.schonbach@schonbach.nl
of right-wing nationalism around Europe         right-wing nationalism’s persistent role in
and injects nuance into a political stance      mainstream politics’ shift to the right.         Photo: Jelmer de Haas

that has been categorically rejected by most.      As Rijken writes, ‘In the last forty years,
   Eschewing judgment, Rijken traces            their movement has become part of the
right-wing nationalism’s evolution in nine      democratic system. Those who wish to
western European countries, starting with       fight them will have to do so based on
the first immigration waves in the 70s and      content in the political arenas of Europe.
80s, and continuing through the fall of the     This too is part of democracy.’
Berlin Wall, the September 11 attacks and          Given the immediate questions facing
the financial crisis, up to today’s refugee     Europe regarding immigration and integra-
crisis and Brexit. Their rise is far from       tion, Our People First is a ground-breaking
meteoric, and Rijken details their victories    step in tackling these challenges. This is
and their setbacks, the replacement of the      a must-read for anyone interested in the
                                                political landscape of today and tomorrow.

                                                ‘Its timing is near enough perfect […]
                                                Our People First is a clever reconstruc­
                                                tion of the growth on the right flank
                                                of the political spectrum over the past
                                                forty years.’
                                                – HP de Tijd

                                                ‘A coherent vision is produced through
                                                this chronological and detailed
                                                approach in which [the author] moves
                                                from country to country.’
                                                – NRC
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
9                                            Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Lex Boon
The Pineapple
A History Made Up Of Startling Stories
And Unexpected Encounters

One day Lex Boon’s girlfriend returns        pineapple fan Oviedo who ignited the             Lex Boon (b 1983) is a prominent
home with a present for him — a pineap-      European passion for the ‘prince of all          Dutch journalist, well-known for his
                                                                                              supreme reporting. He studied
ple plant from IKEA. Then she dumps          fruits’. In the 17th century, the growing
                                                                                              sociology at the University of
him. In an attempt to get over his heart-    interest in botany in the two most power-        Amsterdam and journalism at Leiden
break, the journalist decides to investi-    ful imperial nations at the time — England       University. He has worked for Het
gate the small green fruit he was given.     and Holland — would lead to the hothouses        Parool and NRC Handelsblad. His
He sets up a Google News alert for           which could keep tropical plant varieties        reports from the pineapple trail were
                                                                                              broadcast on Dutch national radio.
pineapple stories and what follows is a      such as the pineapple alive.
five year round-the-world journey of              At a pineapple congress in Costa Rica,      Publishing details
discovery, a new relationship, fatherhood    Boon tracks down the creator of an extra         Ananas. Een geschiedenis in
and a surprise hit book.                     sweet variety for Del Monte, and explores        opzienbarende verhalen en
                                             that company’s once monopoly on breed-           onverwachte ontmoetingen (2019)
                                                                                              224 pp.
Newly single and in need of a holiday,       ing pineapple varieties. Boon even goes on
Boon reads a news story about pineapple      to export a superior variety himself from        6,500 copies sold
farmers in Thailand dumping their harvest    Ghana, the Smooth Cayenne, and discov-
to blockade the motorway. He jumps on        ers the pitfalls in the market. Along the        Rights
a plane. Once there, the investigative       way the reader is fed interesting titbits        2 Seas Agency
                                                                                              Marleen Seegers
journalist finds himself caught up in the    such as how Sponge Bob’s pineapple was
opaque world of fruit trade and overpro-     misdrawn mathematically (the pattern of
duction. He discovers where and how          growth should be a Fibonacci series) and
pineapples are grown, harvested and          why pineapple and meat pair well on your
packaged for export in factories, who the    plate (its unique enzyme bromelain breaks
middle men are and how the fruit end up      down protein).
in our supermarkets and grocery stores            Boon’s travels turn up fascinating
priced at just a couple of euros.            insights as well as a comprehensive view of
   While staying in the pineapple folly of   pineapple production and trade. This fun,
a 17th century mansion in Scotland, Boon     wide-ranging and well-reviewed book also
delves into the history of pineapple and     helps us as consumers to know what we
the various fashions it has launched.        should buy: Fairtrade, whole, tinned or
Columbus might have brought the first        ready-cut? ‘However small a subject,
specimens to Europe in the fifteenth         there’s still an infinite amount to tell about
century, but it was Spanish historian and    it’ is Boon’s adage.

                                             ‘And oh my gosh what a delightful
                                             book The Pineapple is. I had no idea
                                             that non-fiction about pineapples
                                             could deliver up such a page-turner.
                                             This book is a delicious pineapple
                                             road trip […] Open this book and the
                                             sun starts to shine.’
                                             – De Volkskrant

                                             ‘An intriguing book. His style,
                                             humorous and playful but also
                                             pleasantly down-to-earth, is
                                             reminiscent of the work of Bill
                                             Bryson. […] This book is a breath
                                             of fresh air.’
                                             – NRC Handelsblad
Quality Non-Fiction from Holland - Autumn 2019 - Nederlands Letterenfonds
10                                             Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Josephine Rombouts
Cliffrock Castle
Working At A Castle in Scotland
Downton Abbey in the twenty-first century —
behind the scenes in a traditional Scottish castle

When Josephine Rombouts moves with             observational skills, she describes a               Josephine Rombouts (b.1971)
her family from Holland to the west coast      micro-culture whose continuing existence            studied Art History and Dutch and
                                                                                                   has lived in the Scottish Highlands
of Scotland she jumps at the opportunity       is almost unthinkable in today’s world.
                                                                                                   for the past six years with her family.
of a job as housekeeper at the local castle.   Tables lain with a yardstick, the strict rules      She is now the manager of the castle
Unhampered by any knowledge of                 for wearing tweed, where to offer a                 in which she previously worked as
housekeeping or of the British elite, she      plumber a cup of tea, uncomplaining                 housekeeper. She also leads the
miraculously manages to stay afloat in         employees whose gardens are suddenly                choir and gives drama lessons at
                                                                                                   the village school.
her new surroundings where she finds           cut in half by a deer fence — she is often
herself confronted with English land-          amazed and has to learn fast.                       Publishing details
owners, French cooks, Scottish indepen-           As a pragmatic, direct Dutch woman               Cliffrock Castle. Werken op een
dence, local roofers, a ghost, and a           Rombouts tries to get to the bottom of              kasteel in Schotland (2019)
serious amount of etiquette.                   many unwritten social codes and nuances             352 pp.
                                               she never could have dreamed of in the
                                                                                                   16,000 copies sold
Looking for a change in lifestyle — and        egalitarian Netherlands. After a while she          English sample available
a greater change is barely conceiv-            starts to understand what is at play: the
able — Rombouts leaves a busy Dutch city       privileges and restrictions of class, com-          Rights
with her husband and two young sons            plex social dynamics, boarding school               Singel Uitgeverijen
                                                                                                   Jolijn Spooren
hoping to settle in the beautiful Scottish     syndrome. Soon she has learned about
Highlands. Neither she nor her partner         ‘making oneself scarce’ and the best way to
has a job lined up but before long the         discreetly refer to a dog poo in the parlour.       Photo: Katja Poelwijk
author has been hired by the chatelaine of        ‘I found it a brilliant piece of theatre,
Cliffrock Castle for a trial period. The       where you are mindful of all considerations.
estate manager warns her that however          As long as you’re in the play waving your
sympathetic the Lady may seem, ‘You            duster it’s fun; if you don’t play along the gilt
must keep your proper distance.’               wears off ', the author said in an interview.
   Drawing all her instructions from an           Scotland’s desolate and rugged nature
antiquated book she discovers in a turret      forms an attractive and sometimes treach-
bedroom — The Butler’s Guide to Clothes        erous backdrop to experiences which,
Care, Managing the Table, Running the          beyond a career in castle upkeep, lead the
Home & Other Graces — Rombouts soon            author to form closer connections with the
realizes that working in a castle will         people around her, including the chatelaine
require more than just some simple             who steps into the breach when one of
cleaning. With humour and incisive             Rombout’s children becomes seriously ill.

                                               ‘A small miracle has occurred in publishingland.
                                               Fans of Jane Austen’s world had already cottoned on
                                               to it, but gradually the miracle is seeping through to the
                                               broader echelons: Cliffrock Castle. […] Rombouts has a
                                               golden pen. Marvelling, detailed and tongue-in-cheek
                                               she draws us into an elite we didn’t know existed; one
                                               of Upstairs Downstairs, chandeliers and balls.’
                                               – Trouw

                                               ‘Everything that made Downtown Abbey so irresistible,
                                               Rombouts experienced in her castle: hunting parties,
                                               an out-of-proportion Christmas tree, ironed socks,
                                               the gong to summon everyone to the dining room, the
                                               chandeliers, the room full of unpolished silverware.’
                                               – VPRO Gids
11                                             Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Brenda Stoter Boscolo
The Forgotten People
The Yezidi’s Account of the Last Genocide
Intimate portraits of a little-known people under persecution

In the summer of 2014, ISIS invaded the        officials, religious leaders, doctors, stu-    Brenda Stoter Boscolo (b.1984)
region of Sinjar in northern Iraq. Their       dents, professors, activists and soldiers.     is an acclaimed Dutch journalist who
                                                                                              writes about the Middle East. She
aim was to systematically exterminate             She investigates the social repercussions
                                                                                              has master’s degrees in sociology
the Yezidis, an ethnic minority with its       of genocide: How has it changed the            and in media and journalism from
own ancient religion and culture. The          traditions which forbid members to             Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
men were murdered while the women              convert religion, as so many women and         Her second thesis was about the
and girls were sold into slavery; sons were    children were forced to do to survive? And     Iraq war and the media. Her articles
                                                                                              have been published by Al Jazeera,
forced to become child soldiers and the        what about the Yezidi children fathered by
                                                                                              Middle East Eye, The New Arab and
youngest children were sold to ISIS            ISIS soldiers? How has Yezidi human-­          Al Monitor as well as featured in
families. Journalist Brenda Stoter             rights activist Nadia Murad inspired other     Dutch newspapers and magazines,
Boscolo travelled to Iraq to write about       women to come forward with their stories?      including Trouw, Algemeen
the Yezidi genocide.                              Along the way she makes connections         Dagblad, De Tijd, NRC Next,
                                                                                              Het Parool and De Groene
                                               and builds friendships, learning about the
While international reporting has focused      Yezidi culture. Caught between the Iraqi
mainly on the sexual slavery imposed on        Arab and Kurdish communities, with             Publishing details
Yezidi women after the ISIS invasion, little   whom they have historically uneasy             Het vergeten volk. Het verhaal van
has been said until now about the larger       relationships, the Ezidis see themselves as    de Jezidi’s over de laatste genocide
                                                                                              (October 2019)
and deeper attempt to destroy the Yezidis      their own ethnicity. They have their own
                                                                                              288 pp.
as an ethnic group. In refugee camps in        religion, whose holy books have been lost      De Arbeiderspers
Northern Iraq, Boscolo interviews dozens       in the 73 genocides they have survived.        English sample available
of women, men and children whose lives         They are poorly understood and often
were irrevocably damaged by ISIS, but in       portrayed as devil worshippers, making         Rights
                                                                                              Singel Uitgeverijen
the process she discovers a troubled           them targets for fundamentalist Sunni
                                                                                              Jolijn Spooren
history fraught with persecution in a          groups like Al-Quaida before ISIS. Many        j.spooren@singeluitgeverijen.nl
hostile land. She is overwhelmed by their      of the Yezidis feel they have no one to turn
willingness to tell their harrowing stories,   to but each other.
which they hope to share with the world.          Writing with an open, personal style,
   We meet Yezidis like Ishmael, who lost      Boscolo alights the essential strength that
35 family members, and Majdal, who was         lies in community, individual human
trained as a child soldier. There’s Nadima,    resilience and the ability to find meaning
who bore an ISIS soldier’s son, and Turko,     in life after trauma. The Forgotten People
who became Muslim to save her children.        reveals the heartbreaking human face of
Boscolo also speaks with government            a community in peril.

                                   ‘Brenda Stoter Boscolo is not afraid of the
                                   devil nor anyone. She doesn’t rest until she
                                   has gained access to worlds that are closed to
                                   many journalists. She manages to beautifully
                                   combine compassion, a keen eye for detail
                                   and lucid analysis in her stories.’
                                   – Xandra Schutte, journalist,
                                   Editor of De Groene Amsterdammer

                                   ‘I know few people who wear their power
                                   and vulnera­bility as purely as Brenda does.
                                   She’d go through fire for other people.
                                   Her work is just as inspiring, gripping,
                                   moving and overwhelming as she is herself.’
                                   – Fidan Ekiz, journalist and presenter
12                                            Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Huib Modderkolk
There’s A War Going On But No One Can See It
The shadow side of the internet: global intelligence,
digital espionage and our privacy

Six years ago Huib Modderkolk began           incident and the previous one lead him to      Huib Modderkolk (b.1982) is an
investigating the digital world. He           the Ukraine, the apparent target of a          investigative journalist for the Dutch
                                                                                             national newspaper De Volkskrant.
gradually formed a picture of how             Russian attack.
                                                                                             He is a frequent guest on the popular
systems built for free communication are          This is just one example of how digital    talkshow De Wereld Draait Door
exploited for espionage and manipula-         disruption in the Netherlands is inextrica-    where he explains the complexities
tion, and unearthed secret operations         bly connected with the rest of the world.      of the digital world in simple terms.
by the Dutch, American and Russian            Security systems installed by companies        Modderkolk won the Dutch-Belgian
                                                                                             investigative award De Loep in 2018.
intelligence services. His most important     and governments are globally sourced.
                                                                                             His reports have been taken up by
conclusion? We are vulnerable: computer       Israel, for example, is one of the cheapest    NY Times, Washington Post,
systems control access to our most basic      producers. But internet security systems       Reuters, CNN, The Guardian, BBC,
human needs.                                  can also discreetly collect data. There are    Der Spiegel, France24 and many
                                              other weaknesses. Data storage companies       other media sources. He has
                                                                                             collaborated with The Wall Street
Summer 2017: computer screens go blank        can be based anywhere and fall outside of
                                                                                             Journal, The Guardian, NY Times
in 150 countries. The British NHS is so       national jurisdiction — criminals can store    and The Intercept.
affected that hospitals can only take in      illegally-gathered data undetected. And
patients for the Casualty department.         how infallible are the certificates obtained   Publishing details
Ambulances are grounded. MRI scanners         to ensure that internet users end up on the    Het is oorlog maar niemand
                                                                                             die het ziet (2019)
and blood refrigeration systems stop          sites they believe they are accessing?
                                                                                             272 pp.
functioning. Computer screens turn on             Based on the cases he has investigated,    Podium
spontaneously and the words “Oops your        Modderkolk takes the reader on a tour of       20,000 copies sold
important files are encrypted” appear.        the corridors and back doors of the            English sample available
Employees who desperately pull the plugs      globalised digital world. He reconstructs
on their computers are too late. Restarting   for example the British-American espio-
is pointless, the computers are locked. And   nage operation on Belgacom and reveals         Joost Nijsen
now the attackers ask each victim to pay      how the power relationships between            jn@uitgeverijpodium.nl
them 300 dollars. This is hijack software.    countries enable intelligence services to
Those who transfer the money get nothing      share and withhold data from each other.       Photo: Ruud Pos

in return.                                        The book looks at key players such as
   A month later, an unknown virus strike     Edward Snowden, DigiNotar: the Dutch-
on 27th June 2017 doesn’t just shut down      based certification company, Russian
Rotterdam harbour but also systems in         hackers Cozy Bear and Evgeniy Bogachev
France, India, Great Britain, Poland and      ‘the Pablo Escobar of the digital era’, and
Germany, before spreading to 60 further       provides insights into military hackers,
countries. Modderkolk’s research into this    spies, saboteurs, malware and trolls.

                                              ‘This is even better than John le Carré,
                                              because it’s true.’
                                              – Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, TV

                                              ‘In the old days, anyone wanting to
                                              understand the world read the bible.
                                              Anyone wanting to understand the
                                              world today should read this book.’
                                              – Arjan Lubach, writer and TV
13                                                   Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

New & Noteworthy
Published in the Netherlands

Holland’s Philosophy Laureate                                          New book by the bestselling author
on Extinction                                                          of Utopia for Realists
René ten Bos                                                           Rutger Bregman
Extinction                                                             Humankind
                                                                       A revisionist history
Publisher: Boon
Rights: info@bua.nl                                                    Publisher: De Correspondent
                                                                       Rights: Janklow & Nesbit
                                                                       Rights sold:
                                                                       UK – Bloomsbury
                                                                       France – Du Seuil
                                                                       Japan – Bungeishunju
                                                                       Norway – Spartacus
                                                                       US – Little, Brown
                                                                       Italy – Feltrinelli

‘I mistrust any idea or thought that doesn’t dare face up to the       Humans are beasts, the kings said. Sinners, the priests said.
gaping hole within’ is ten Bos’s starting point for a philosophical    Egoists, the accountants said. For centuries, western culture
reassessment of extinction and climate change. In a style reminis-     has been permeated by a belief in the depravity of humankind.
cent of French philosopher Michel Serres, ten Bos argues that          But what if all this time we’ve been wrong?
humankind is scarcely touched by the extinction of many species          In this book, Rutger Bregman incorporates the latest insights from
because they disappear without being noticed. If we do wish            psychology, economics, biology and archaeology. He takes us on
to be affected we need to recognize the essential value of their       a journey through history and gives new answers to old questions.
existence, but our knowledge constantly falls too short for this.      How do we explain our biggest crimes? Are we deeply inclined to
We would rather feed the illusion that we are in control. Will         evil or good within? Humankind not only rewrites history, but also
humankind’s ‘speculative’ future extinction allow us to take the       sheds new light on our future.
step towards caring enough to effect change?

Why the female heart requires different                                The Middle East through the lens
medical treatment from the male                                        of its animal inhabitants

Angela Maas                                                            Olaf Koens
The Female Heart                                                       Horses Fly Business Class
A cardiologist on women’s hearts                                       Humans and animals
                                                                       in the Middle East
Publisher: De Arbeiderspers
Rights: Singel                                                         Publishers: Nijgh & Van Ditmar
j.spooren@singeluitgeverijen.nl                                        Rights: Singel

Heart disease has been the number one global cause of death            Can a giraffe commit suicide? How do you fit 69 horses in an
among women for many years now but still every day women are           airplane? How do you evacuate a zoo in a warzone?
treated according to measures developed by and for men, leading          Koens, a TV news reporter, takes the reader on a dizzying trip
to confusion, unclear diagnoses and often incorrect treatment.         from the dusty streets of Gaza to Qatar’s blinding desert, from the
Within medicine, cardiology affords the most striking examples         calm Turkish countryside to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq to
of sex differences mattering. The way in which the heart and           examine how animals are party to wars and sometimes escape in
circulatory system ages in women is essentially different from         miraculous ways. The fate of these animals lays bare the misery,
men’s, heart attacks differ, the menopause has an effect and           hopes and fears of people in the Middle East where storks are seen
there are other gender-specific ills. This book is based on years      as spies, lions as trophies and dolphins as weapons.
of research by a pioneer in female heart care.
14                                              Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Recent Translations                                                This is a selection of recently published
                                                                   translations from the Dutch. For more information
                                                                   please go to our online database of translations

Mathijs Deen                                 Luuk van Middelaar                            Nico Tinbergen
Über alte Wege. Eine Reise                   Alarums & Excursions. Improvising             Eskimoland.
durch die Geschichte Europas                 politics on the European Stage                Ein Bericht aus der Arktis
Over oude wegen                              De nieuwe politiek van Europa                 Eskimoland
Published in German by DuMont (2019).        Published in English by Agenda Publishing     Published in German by C.H. Beck (2019).
Translated by Andreas Ecke. Also in Korean   (2019). Translated by Liz Waters. Also in     Translated by Gerd Busse and Ulrich Faure.
(Sobitkil), Italian (Iperborea).             French (Gallimard), Portuguese (Realizações
                                             Editora Espaço Cultural Livrario).

Hannes Wallrafen                             Frank Westerman                               Annejet van der Zijl
Der blinde Fotograf                          Čistá biela rasa                              The Boy Between Worlds.
De blinde fotograaf                          Dier, bovendier                               A Biography
Published in German by Oktaven (2019).       Published in Slovak by Absynt (2019).         Sonny boy
Translated by Rolf Erdorf.                   Translated by Annamária Gálová Vrbová.        Published in English by Amazon Crossing
                                             Also in Chinese (Lijang Publishing House),    (2019). Translated by Kristen Gehrman.
                                             Croatian (Durieux), Czech (Host), English     Also in Bulgarian (Ciela), Czech (Barrister &
                                             (Harvill Secker), German (C.H. Beck),         Principal), German (Kindler), Italian (Marsilio),
                                             Hungarian (Helikon), Italian (Iperborea),     Spanish (Arango), Swedish (Lind & Co.),
                                             Polish (Czarne), Slovenian (Studentska        Turkish (Alef).
                                             zalozba), Spanish (Siruela).
15                                       Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Forthcoming in English
New Dutch Writing Campaign 2019-2020

Eva Meijer                           Onno Blom                                   Eddy de Wind
Animal Languages: The Secret         Young Rembrandt                             Last Stop Auschwitz:
Conversations of the Natural World   De jonge Rembrandt                          My Story of Survival
Dierentalen                          Published by Pushkin Press, 2019.           Eindstation Auschwitz
Published by John Murray, 2019.      Translated by Beverley Jackson              Published by Transworld, 2020.
Translated by Laura Watkinson                                                    Translated by David Colmer

Sanne Blauw                          Ivo van Vulpen                              Stefan Buijsman
The Number Bias: How Numbers         How to Find a Higgs Boson                   Pluses and minuses:
Lead and Mislead Us                  And Other Big Mysteries in the              The Use of Maths When You
Het best verkochte boek ooit         World of the Very Small                     Never Calculate Anything
Published by Sceptre, 2020           De melodie van de natuur                    Plussen en minnen
Translated by Suzanne Jansen         Published by Yale University Press, 2020.   Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2020.
                                     Translated by David McKay                   Translated by Andy Brown

                                                              For further details: www.newdutchwriting.co.uk
16      Non-Fiction From Holland                Quality Non-Fiction From Holland

Roanne van Voorst                                                Kemal Rijken
We Used to Eat Animals                                           Our People First

Corien van Zweden                                                Lex Boon
Breasts                                                          The Pineapple

Jelmer Mommers                                                   Josephine Rombouts
How Are We Going                                                 Cliffrock Castle
to Explain This?
                                                                 Brenda Stoter Boscolo
Geert Mak                                                        The Forgotten People
Great Expectations
                                                                 Huib Modderkolk
Abram de Swaan                                                   There’s A War Going On
Against Women                                                    But No One Can See It

                                                                                    Quality Non-Fiction from Holland
                                                                                    is published by the Dutch
                                                                                    Foundation for Literature. The
                                                                                    bulletin is distributed to foreign
                                                                                    publishers and editors.
                                                                                    If you would like to receive Quality
                                                                                    Non-Fiction from Holland, please
                                                                                    contact post@letterenfonds.nl.

                                                                                    Mireille Berman, Dick Broer,
                                                                                    Michele Hutchison, Haico
                                                                                    Kaashoek, David McKay

                                                                                    Cover image
                                                                                    Sandro Botticelli
                                                                                    ‘La Nascita di Venere’

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