Nooteboom
1996 Shortlist

The Following Story

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Sardonic, erudite bachelor Herman Mussert, a classics scholar and writer of travel guides, goes to bed one night in his Amsterdam flat but inexplicably wakes up in a Lisbon hotel. He slowly realizes that this is the very room where he had an affair with married biology teacher Maria Zeinstra 20 years before. Is he dreaming or dead or time traveling? So begins Dutch novelist Nooteboom’s (The Knight Has Died) semi-surreal, elegantly lyrical, enchanting but baffling postmodernist fable, winner of the 1993 European Literary Prize. Strewn with classical allusions and archetypal images in collision with the modern world, Mussert’s dreamlike narration is a haunting meditation on the inescapable reality of death, the blindness of love, the vanity of human endeavor and the possible existence of an immortal soul. These themes are explored as the narrator reenacts his tawdry affair and embarks on a voyage with a motley crew-an astronomer/captain, a Benedictine priest, an exiled Chinese scholar, a Third World journalist and an elusive mystery woman-sailing up the Amazon. (from Publisher’s Weekly)

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Cees
Nooteboom

Cees Nooteboom (b. 1933) is a Dutch author known for his novels, poetry and travel writing. One of the leading contemporary writers of Europe, his novels include Rituals, which received the Pegasus Prize in 1980; The Following Story; and Lost Paradise. Seagull Books has published Nooteboom’s Self-Portrait of an Other, his poetic collaboration with artist Max Neumann; his poetry collections Light Everywhere and Monk’s Eye; and his novel Mokusei! Nooteboom has received numerous awards including the Goethe Prize (2002), the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2002), P. C. Hooft Award (2004), and Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (2009). In 2020 he was awarded the prestigious Formentor Prize as ‘a universal author who writes with the consciousness of belonging to the great European cultural tradition’ and for having ‘exceeded with his incessant creativity the limit proposed by literary genres’. (from Seagull Books)

Cees Nooteboom (b. 1933) is a Dutch author known for his novels, poetry and travel writing. One of the leading contemporary writers of Europe, his novels include Rituals, which received the Pegasus Prize in 1980; The Following Story; and Lost Paradise. Seagull Books has published Nooteboom’s Self-Portrait of an Other, his poetic collaboration with artist Max Neumann; his poetry collections Light Everywhere and Monk’s Eye; and his novel Mokusei! Nooteboom has received numerous awards including the Goethe Prize (2002), the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2002), P. C. Hooft Award (2004), and Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (2009). In 2020 he was awarded the prestigious Formentor Prize as ‘a universal author who writes with the consciousness of belonging to the great European cultural tradition’ and for having ‘exceeded with his incessant creativity the limit proposed by literary genres’. (from Seagull Books)

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Ina
Rilke

Ina Rilke is a Mozambique-born translator who specializes in translating Dutch literature and French literature into English.

Born in Mozambique, she went to school in Porto in Portugal, attending Oporto British School. She studied translation at the University of Amsterdam, where she later taught.

Writers she has translated include Hafid Bouazza, Louis Couperus, Hella Haasse, W. F. Hermans, Arthur Japin, Erwin Mortier, Multatuli, Cees Nooteboom, Connie Palmen, Pierre Péju and Dai Sijie. Rilke has won the Vondel Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Flemish Culture Prize. She has also been nominated for the Best Translated Book Award, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC Book Award.

Ina Rilke is a Mozambique-born translator who specializes in translating Dutch literature and French literature into English.

Born in Mozambique, she went to school in Porto in Portugal, attending Oporto British School. She studied translation at the University of Amsterdam, where she later taught.

Writers she has translated include Hafid Bouazza, Louis Couperus, Hella Haasse, W. F. Hermans, Arthur Japin, Erwin Mortier, Multatuli, Cees Nooteboom, Connie Palmen, Pierre Péju and Dai Sijie. Rilke has won the Vondel Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Flemish Culture Prize. She has also been nominated for the Best Translated Book Award, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC Book Award.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
03/01/1994
Country
Netherlands
Original Language
Dutch
Publisher
HarperCollins
Translator
Ina Rilke

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