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Jaap Robben & Lize Spit

Novelists Jaap Robben and Lize Spit will be in conversation with Dutch-English translator Michele Hutchison. The event will also feature readings by David Doherty who translated Jaap's novel Summer Brother into English and Kristen Gehrman, the translator of Lize's novel The Melting.

Summer Brother

Jaap Robben’s Summer Brother is the story of a dislocated family, a trailer park, an older brother with a disability and a younger one way out of his depth… Thirteen-year-old Brian lives in a trailer on a forgotten patch of land with his divorced and uncaring father Maurice.  His older brother Lucien, physically and mentally disabled, has been institutionalized for years. While Lucien’s home is undergoing renovations, he is sent to live with Maurice and Lucien for the summer. Maurice is keen to take the money and leaves Brian to care for Lucien’s special needs. But how do you look after someone when you don’t know what they need? How do you make the right choices when you still have so much to discover? Summer Brother is an honest, tender account of brotherly love, which will resonate with readers of Rain Man.

The Melting

Part thriller, part coming-of-age novel, The Melting is an extraordinary and unsettling debut from Lize Spit, a reckoning with adolescent cruelty and the scars it leaves. This phenomenal Flemish international bestseller tells of a young woman’s return to the small town where she suffered as a child and the payback she demands there. Eva can trace the route to Pim’s farm with her eyes closed, even though she has not been to Bovenmeer for many years. There she grew up among the rape fields and dairy farms. There lies also the root of all their grief. Eva was one of three children born in her small Flemish town in 1988. Growing up alongside the boys Laurens and Pim, Eva sought refuge from her loveless family life in the company of her two friends. But with adolescence came a growing awareness of their burgeoning sexuality. Driven by their newly found desires, the children begin a game that will have serious and violent consequences for them all. Thirteen years after the summer she’s tried for so long to forget, Eva is returning to her village. Everything fell apart that summer, but this time she’ll be prepared. She has a large block of ice in her car boot and she’s ready to settle the score…

  • Date: Monday 19 July 2021
  • Time 7:00 pm
  • Location Online
  • Admission Free
  • Book
  • Website

About the author(s)

Lize Spit (b. 1988), living in Brussels, gained a master’s degree in screenplay writing and has also written prose and poetry, published in several magazines. In 2013 she won both the jury prize and the readers’ prize at WriteNow!, a prestigious writing competition. Her debut novel The Melting was published...
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Jaap Robben (1984) is a poet, playwright, performer, and acclaimed children’s author. You Have Me to Love, his first novel for adults, has received international glowing reviews and is the winner of the 2014 Dutch Booksellers Award, the Dioraphte Prize, and the ANV Award for best Dutch debut. To date...
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19 Jul