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Fiction by Dutch Writers

From murder mysteries set in Amsterdam to historical fiction featuring Machiavelli, these Dutch novels offer something for any reader.

 
Baantjer, A.C.
Murder in Amsterdam
This book is divided into two novellas, both murder mysteries and both featuring the intriguing Inspector DeKok. The author served in Amsterdam's Municipal Police Department, which makes this a great read for anyone interested in an inside look at police work.
 
Couperus, Louis
Ecstasy: A Study of Happiness
During the previous-turn-of-the-century in Holland, a recent widow must deal with the imposed rules of etiquette as she falls for a known womanizer. As the story progresses, she learns to abandon herself to passions and unspoken love.
 
Dorrestein, Renate
A Heart of Stone
Renate Dorrestein's first novel to be translated into English. The story revolves around a woman in her thirties about to give birth while trying to cope with her flawed family history.
 
Grunberg, Arnon
The Jewish Messiah
An unusual, farcical, exaggerated, and controversial novel, filled with adventures and grand debacles. Many consider this Grunberg's best novel.
 
Haasse, Hella S.
The Scarlet City
Set in the early 16th century during the Italian Wars, Haasse uses historical timelines and characters in the telling of her story. Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, some of the better known including Machiavelli, Michelangelo, the Borgias, and the Medicis.
 
Mulisch, Harry
The Procedure
In the 16th century, a rabbi is promised the safety of his people if he is able to create a golem (a living creature made from clay). Four hundred years later, a scientist gives life to a clay crystal. Mulisch connects these two men's similar ambitions and subsequent punishments for their activities in this interesting Dutch novel.
 
Nooteboom, Cees
Rituals: A Novel
A modern short novel about the different ways people can perceive time. The main character embraces the open possibilities that time brings. Two other characters who come into her life represent the pressures some feel as time marches past them. This book won the Pegasus Prize for Literature.
 

Updated: 7/22/2008