by Jan van Mersbergen
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A story about anger, aggression and the desire for intimacy by a rising star of modern Dutch literature.
A professional boxer and a family man meet by chance on a journey to the Pamplona Bull Run. The boxer is fleeing an unhappy love. The father hopes to escape his dull routine. Both know that, eventually, they will have to return to the place each calls “home”.
FILM RIGHTS SOLD TO UK PRODUCTION COMPANY FIRST BORN FILMS.
Why Peirene chose to publish this book:
I adore the deceptive simplicity of this story. On the surface, the fast moving plot, the short sentences, the ordinary words make the text as straightforward as punches in a boxing match. But just as physical conflict stirs deep emotions, so too does this book as it focuses on a single question: how do you choose between flight and fight?
Written by Jan van Mersbergen.
Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson.
Male Dilemma series
180pp, Paperback with Flaps, £8.99
Press & Reviews
'As he tracks back and forth between the dual narratives, moving inexorably to the double climax, van Mersbergen skilfully builds emotional intensity until the point when the boxer and bulls' fury are finally unleashed.' The Independent on Sunday
'An impressive work from a leading Dutch writer.' Daily Mail
'Translated with insight and empathy by Laura Watkinson, this is an intriguing and intricate gem of a novel ... van Mersbergen’s tightly controlled prose skilfully conveys the overriding sense of repressed emotion and sheer physicality that drive a compelling and complex story.' Lancashire Evening Post
'Flawlessly translated from Dutch ... A book that is likely to divide readers, possibly along gender lines.' Adrian Turpin, Financial Times
'A refreshing change from the byzantine complexities of all too many contemporary novels.' New Books Magazine
About The Book
Laura Watkinson studied languages at Oxford and Cambridge. She translates literary fiction from Dutch, German and Italian. She lives in Amsterdam.