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2021 Longlist

The Ditch

Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

When Robert Walter, the popular mayor of Amsterdam, sees his wife toss her head back with laughter while chatting to one of his aldermen at a New Year’s reception, he immediately suspects she is cheating on him. Though happily married, he has always wondered why Sylvia, born and raised in a distant country, chose him. Soon afterwards, a journalist unearths an old photograph of a police officer being beaten up by three Vietnam War protesters, one of whom she claims is Robert. Just as unexpectedly, Robert’s ninety-four-year-old father announces that he and his wife would rather end their lives than burden their son with their deteriorating health. Once stable and successful, Robert becomes entangled in his fears and suspicions, consumed by jealousy and paranoia. Nothing is what it seems, or is Robert finally beginning to see the world – and his life – as they are, for the first time? Written with Herman Koch’s trademark originality, playfulness and edge and translated from Dutch, The Ditch is a wildly clever – and guttingly familiar – story of a man whose sadistic skill for undermining himself and his marriage comes to cost him nearly everything.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Herman
Koch

Herman Koch, born in 1953, is a Dutch writer. He was a renowned television actor on the series Jiskefet and a former columnist for the newspaper Volkskrant. His novel The Dinner won the prestigious Publieksprijs Prize in 2009 and went on to be a huge international bestseller. Summer House with Swimming Pool is his seventh novel. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

Herman Koch, born in 1953, is a Dutch writer. He was a renowned television actor on the series Jiskefet and a former columnist for the newspaper Volkskrant. His novel The Dinner won the prestigious Publieksprijs Prize in 2009 and went on to be a huge international bestseller. Summer House with Swimming Pool is his seventh novel. He currently lives in Amsterdam.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Sam
Garrett

SAM GARRETT has translated some 50 novels and works of nonfiction. He has won prizes and appeared on shortlists for some of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, and is the only translator to have twice won the British Society of Authors’ Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation.

SAM GARRETT has translated some 50 novels and works of nonfiction. He has won prizes and appeared on shortlists for some of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, and is the only translator to have twice won the British Society of Authors’ Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

One of Dutch best and successful novelists. Amsterdam Public Library / Openbare Bibliotheek, Amsterdam

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Netherlands
Original Language
Dutch
Author
Publisher
Picador
Translator
Sam Garrett
Translation
Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

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