Upcoming Events

15.04.2018 - Zaal 3

Gabriel Tallent

Gabriel Tallent was born in New Mexico and raised on the Mendocino coast in California. After his graduation at Willamette University he guided youth trail crews in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest.
His novel My Absolute Darling is a New York Times bestseller and tells the story of Turtle Alveston. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. When she meets Jacob, she comes in touch with another world and starts imagining to escape from her father.
This BorderKitchen interview with Gabriel Tallent is a collaboration with Ambo|Anthos uitgevers and will be held in English. Interviewer: Annelies Verbeke.

Date: Sunday 15 April 2018
Start: 16:00
Location: De Constant Rebecqueplein 20A, 2518 RA Den Haag
Entrance fee: € 7,50 (ex. service fee)

09.05.2018 - Theater aan het Spui, Zaal 1

Johan Harstad, Dorthe Nors, Gunnhild Øyehaug

On the 9th of May three Scandinavian authors will be visiting The Hague: international acclaimed Johan Harstad en two of the biggest Scandinavian writing talents Dorthe Nors en Gunnhild Øyehaug. They will be interviewed about their most recent works. There will be live music as well.

Norwegian author Johan Harstad (1979) already established his reputation with his novel Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? His latest novel Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive (2017) was praised by press and public and tells about displaced theatre director Max Hansen, who as a teenager emigrated from Norway to the United States. Artist Mischa, actor Mordecai and Vietnam veteran Owen are his fellow sufferers. This novel is nominated for the European Literature Prize 2018.

Danish author Dorthe Nors  (1970) had her international break through with her short stories Karate Chop. Her recently published novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is about Sonja, who at the age of forty decides to finally take driving lessons. Ze is translator of Swedish krimi’s and her social life is limited to her spiritual massage therapist and her talkative driving instructor. The novel was received with positive reviews and a 5 starred review in de Volkskrant. Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is on the short list of the Man Booker International Prize.

With lightness and spot on Norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug (1975) creates vulnerable characters who get stuck in their own short comings. For example the woman who has an ominous dream the night before her ninetieth birthday. In one of the stories a little girl bursting with youthful desire is jealous of her older niece. A deer that roams more and more to the borders of the woods, just to get some attention, plays the leading role in another story. The short stories Knots from Norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug (1975) will be published April 2018.

Date: Wednesday 09 May 2018
Start: 20:00
Location: Theater aan het Spui, Zaal 1 Spui 187, Den Haag
Entrance fee: € 12,50 (ex. service fee)

Past Events

- 2018 -

12.01.2018 - Paolo Cognetti

Paolo Cognetti (1978) is an Italian writer and documentary maker. He grew up in Milan and spent the summers of his childhood in a small mountain village in the north of Italy. His latest novel has won the Premio Strega, the most prestigious Italian literary award. The eight mountains tells the story of Pietro, a boy from Milan, who spends his summers in the mountain village of Grana in the Valle d’Aosta with his father and mother. During one of these summers Pietro finds a friend for life in Bruno, a boy who has spent all his life in the small village. Cognetti writes about many different themes in his book and succeeds in telling an impressive coming of age story about friendship, the love for a mountain and the relationship between father and son.

Paolo Cognetti will be interviewed by Jasper Henderson. This BorderKitchen event is in collaboration with publisher De Bezige Bij.


- 2017 -

13.11.2017 - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the most widely read contemporary Spanish author. His work has been translated into more than 50 languages, many millions of his books were sold worldwide, and he has received numerous literary awards. His novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game and The Prisoner of Heaven have become modern classics. On Monday 13 November 2017, Zafón will present his new novel, The Labyrinth of Spirits, at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In a lively conversation (in English), Zafón will speak with interviewer Ivo Niehe about the big finale of his series of four, but also about his authorship and his love for music. Through a selection of film music and a composition of his own, he will take us to that magical place where literature and music meet.

19.35: reception
20.15: start programme
21.45: end programme
22.35: book signing by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

This BorderKitchen interview, a collaboration with Signatuur, will be held in English.

02.11.2017 - 05.11.2017 -

Ever since the first edition in 1993, ‘Crossing Border’ examines the frontiers of music and language, striving to build bridges between them. In the past few years, the festival has expanded to become one of the most progressive international music and literature festivals in Europe. Every year in November, more than 100 artists perform in the city centre of The Hague. Artists range from renowned names to promising upcoming talent.

By way of the decision to move last year’s festival circuit to several characteristic locations, Crossing Border takes its chance to both further explore artistic depth and expand itself. An obscure international newcomer on the old wooden floors of De Zwarte Ruiter? Spoken word in the splendour of the Lutheran Church? A bursting show in the main hall of music venue Paard van Troje? It can all be expected from Crossing Border 2016, right in the cultural heart of The Hague.

23.09.2017 - Orhan Pamuk

Unfortunately, this edition of BorderKitchen with Orhan Pamuk is sold out. Due to overwhelming interest, the Lutheran Church has reached its maximum capacity. We would like to thank everyone who signed up, and extend apologies to those who missed out. We hope to see you again soon at another BorderKitchen.

In 2006, Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul, 1952) received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His rich oeuvre consists of, among others, The Black Book, My Name is Red, Snow, The Museum of Innocence and A Strangeness in My Mind, and has been translated into more than 50 languages. His newest, fiercely socially critical novel, The Red-Haired Woman, is about the friendship between a well-digger and his apprentice, a great love and a tragic loss. It’s about the East and the West, tradition and the modern world, innocence and murder. On Saturday, September 23rd, Pamuk will appear at the Lutherse Kerk in conversation with Chris Keulemans.

11.09.2017 - Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid (1971) grew up in California, but at nine years of age, returned to the homeland of his parents: Pakistan. In the absence of television channels, young Hamid grabbed books. He returned to the United States as a writer, and debuted with the award-winning, Moth Smoke. His second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize and was made into a film featuring Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland. Novel number four appeared last year. Exit West, also on the longlist of the Man Booker Prize 2017, is the searing and topical story of two young people against the backdrop of an emerging war. When violence explodes in their city, they decide to make the dangerous and costly passage to safety. On Monday September 11th, exactly 16 years after 9/11, Hamid will talk to BorderKitchen about his latest book at music venue Paard.

11.05.2017 - Gary Younge

The British America correspondent Gary Younge (1969) is not the one to sit on his hands. He wrote four books, has a monthly column in The Nation and produced radio and television documentaries about different topics; from the Tea Party to hip-hop culture.

In Another Day in the Death of America; A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives Younge tells the confronting stories behind the ten teenagers who were shot dead on one day in the US. On an average day in America, seven children and teens will be shot dead, so it could have been any day. Yet he chose November 23, 2013. Black, white, and Latino, aged nine to nineteen, they fell at sleepovers, on street corners, in stairwells, and on their own doorsteps.

Gary Younge will be interviewed by Peter Wu. Another Day in the Death of America; A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives is translated to Dutch as Een doodgewone dag in Amerika, published by De Geus.

23.03.2017 - Paul Auster

Due to health concerns, Paul Auster unfortunately had to interrupt his European tour and fly back to New York. It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of his performance at Theater aan het Spui for BorderKitchen on Thursday March 23.

The great Paul Auster is coming to BorderKitchen. The books of the bestselling author, among other works, The New York Trilogy, Sunset Park, Invisible and The Book of Illusions are being translated into more than 40 different languages and have been awarded with an endless list of prizes. Seven years after his last book, Auster finally presents his new novel: 4 3 2 1. It tells the story of Archibald Isaac Ferguson, whose life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Every life path, from love to friendship and intellectual passions, leads into another direction. This way the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

Paul Auster will be interviewed by Chris Keulemans. 4 3 2 1 has been published in the Netherlands by publishing Bezige Bij.

11.03.2017 - Paul Beatty

Last year, for the first time in history, an American author won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Ficton. With the book The Sellout, the judges compared author Paul Beatty with literature icons Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift, although at first it was a hard sell and Beatty was turned down about 18 times.

Was the fictive story of a young Afro-American whose father gets shot to death after a dispute with the police ‘too hot to handle’, like The Guardian wonders. The 54-year old Beatty exposes the United States of America of the 21st centry in every aspect, without mercy for anyone or anything. And that is discomforting or even confronting. After a small, independant publisher took it up, Beatty’s word was spread and it finally became clear how powerful his unique mixture of cynism and optimism, comedy and tragedy is. Especially in turbulent times like these.

Paul Beatty will be interviewed by Fiep van Bodegom. The Sellout is translated to Dutch as De Verrader and published by Prometheus.

16.02.2017 - Nadja Tolokonnikova

Despite her young age, the Russian Nadja Tolokonnikova (1989) has lived an eventful life. When she was twenty-one she was one of the founders of the band Pussy Riot. With their critical punk songs they provocingly try to jazz up ultra conservative Russia. After a performance in which they ridicule Poetin and the Chutch, the band members are being arrested. After a political sham trial some of them are convicted to two years of prison camp. At this camp Tolokonnikova manages to to write her book How to Start a Revolution. She writes about the fate of the group members, Tolokonnikova’s youth and the conditions at the prison camp.

BorderKitchen has the honour to welcome Nadja Tolokonnikova on Thursday February 16th in The Hague. The interviewer is journalist, writer and columnist Sander Donkers.

28.01.2017 - Yaa Gyasi

The very young Yaa Gyasi (1989) was born in Ghana and moved to the United States together with her family when she was two years old. In 2009 she visited her native country. She was there to do research for what she thought would be a straightforward novel about a mother and a daughter. But things went differently. The result is Homegoing, an account of slavery’s legacy, stretched over eight generations and two countries.
On January 28th Yaa Gyasi will come and talk (in English) about her debut novel. The interviewer is Fiep van Bodegom.
Homegoing is being published in Dutch by publihing house de Bezige Bij and was translated from English by Nicolette Hoekmeijer. The Dutch title is De weg naar huis.

- 2016 -

05.11.2016 - Albert Sánchéz Piñol

Catalan anthropologist Albert Sánchez Piñol is a specialist in the African Mbuti (pygmy) people, as well as an excellent writer. His worldwide break-through novel was Cold Skin, which tells the story of the battle two Europeans, one a lighthouse guard, the other a meteorologist, fight against an attacking force of giant frogs. Comparisons were drawn immediately to Joseph Conrad and Howard Phillips Lovecraft – not authors we would particularly mind being compared to.

At Crossing Border, Piñol will be discussing his latest novel Vae Victus. This is the seques of his bestselling novel Victus.
 Piñol will be interviewed by Maarten Steenmeijer. The interview languages are Dutch and Spanish.

05.11.2016 - Antoine Leiris

Last year, on the first night of the festival, shocking news of the terrorist attacks in Paris reached Crossing Border. Now, almost a year later, we receive Parisian journalist Antoine Leiris (34).

On that fateful evening, his wife was killed in the Bataclan theatre. Several days after the attacks, he wrote a letter to the terrorists, which he put on Facebook, refusing to answer their actions with hatred. That letter reached millions of people across the globe.
In You Will Not Have My Hate, Leiris shares his experiences and emotions, from the actual night to the moment he visits his wife’s grave with his son. Without wasting words, he shows his reader that life goes on no matter what, and that fear or hatred should not cause us to close our minds to the world.

The interview is in English.

04.10.2016 - Hanya Yanagihara

She has only written two books so far, but Hanya Yanagihara (1975) has quickly become famous within the international world of literature. She grew up in Hawaii and Texas and worked at several New York publishing houses. She worked  on her debut novel The People in the Trees for almost twenty years in secret. Immediately Yanagihara received positive responses. Her next novel, A Little Life, she finished in one-and-a-half years. This novel became an instant classic. For months now the book has been leading the ranks in the international bestseller lists and its
success is continuing unabated. 

A Little Life has been translated into Dutch as Een klein leven, and published by publishing house Nieuw Amsterdam. The novel was translated by Kitty Pouwels and Josephine Ruitenberg. 

©Elena Seibert

28.09.2016 - Richard Russo

Since the 1980’s Richard Russo has written seven novels, amongst which the bestseller Bridge Of Sighs and Nobody’s Fool. However, he is most famous because of his novel Empire Falls, for which he was awarded with a Pullitzer Prize in 2002. In 2005, he rewrote the story himself to make it into the HBO miniseries with the same name, which was also received with a lot of praise, awards and nominations.

The New York Times wrote about Russo ‘being one of the best novelists around’ and John Irving calls him ‘admirable’.
This born storyteller is visiting BorderKitchen on the occasion of the publication of the Dutch translation of his wonderful classic Nobody’s Fool, which now for the first time appears in Dutch.
Journalist and writer Arjan Visser will interview Russo on 28 September, in the theatre of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague.
The Dutch Translation of Nobody’s Fool (Niemands gek). The book was translated from English by Kees Mollema.

14.09.2016 - Jay McInerney

Jay McInerney, the enfant terrible of American literature started his writing career in 1984 with the Manhattan novel Bright Lights, Big City, which was a bestseller right away. McInerney (1955) was one of the first authors who wrote about subjects such as cocaine use and hedonism and started a trend of so-called Yuppie Fiction and MTV Novels, written by mostly young authors, like Bret Easton Ellis and Michael Chabon.

McInerney, in the meanwhile, has written eight novels and is still considered a literary force to be reckoned with. With his latest book, Bright, Precious Days, he is writing his third novel about the New York couple the Calloways – a novel in which McInerney dissects the moral complexities of relationships, while painting a portrait of New York as Obama and Clinton battle for leadership and the collapse of Lehman Brothers looms.

The Dutch translation of Bright, Precious Days (Prachtige, dierbare dagen) is being published by publishing house Hollands Diep. The book was translated from English by Joris Vermeulen and Nico Groen.

16.06.2016 - Héctor Abad

One of Latin America’s biggest contemporary writers, Héctor Abad (Colombia, 1958), is visiting BorderKitchen on June 16th.

Abad was expelled from university at the start of the 80’s for writing an irreverent article against te Pope. He consequently moved to Italy, finished his studies and then returned to Colombia in 1987. That same year his father got murdered by paramilitaries and Abad started to receive death threats. He fled to Europe and did not return to Colombia until 1993. The raw reality of Colombian society in those years is a recurrent theme in Abad’s writing. In his latest novel, La Oculta (De geheime droom van het land in the Dutch translation), he perfectly knows how to combine this with the classically told family saga in the tradition of García Márquez and Vargas Llosa.
Abad has a very impressive oeuvre and won numerous literary prizes, nationally and internationally. On Thursday June 16th, Abad will be interviewed by (in English) about La Oculta. The interviewer is writer and journalist Chris Keulemans.

07.06.2016 - Patrick deWitt

On June 7th we are happy to welcome the Canadian bestselling author Patrick deWitt.

DeWitt (Vancouver Island, 1970) is the first one to admit that the luck factor has played a big part in his career: when he still was a bartender with writing ambitions he gave his manuscript to a regular guest. This guest liked what he was reading, and gave it to a friend of his who once was in band with someone who later became a literary agent. One thing led to another and two years later DeWitt suddenly received a phone call from the agent asking if he maybe wanted to publish his book. Today, DeWitt has published three very successful novels and was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. At BorderKitchen DeWitt is going to talk about his latest book Undermajordomo Minor (Ondermajordomus Minor in Dutch).

Literary journalist Maarten Dessing will interview him in English. The Dutch translation of Undermajordomo Minor has been published by publishing house Nijgh & Van Ditmar. The novel was translated by Saskia van der Lingen and Caroline Meijer.

06.04.2016 - Zeruya Shalev

Zeruya Shalev, one of the most widely read Israeli authors is coming to BorderKitchen on April 6th. Volkskrant editor and critic Arjan Peters will interview her this evening (in English).

Zeruya Shalev (1959) was born at kibbutz Kinneret and nowadays lives in Jerusalem. Her novels Love Life, Husband and Wife, Thera, and The Remains of Love have received critical acclaim both in Israel and abroad. They were translated in over 20 languages and became bestsellers in several countries.
In April her latest book will be published: Pain (Pijn in Dutch).
The Dutch translation of Pain will be published by publishing house Cossee in March as Pijn. In a translation by Sander Hoving.

30.03.2016 - Harry Parker

After former soldier got wounded in Afghanistan, he took up writing to help him make peace with addressing what had happened to him. What started as a therapeutic activity developed into a promising – and from the start a much-discussed – debut: Anatomy of a Soldier (Anatomie van een soldaat in Dutch).

On Wednesday 30 March Harry Parker is coming to BorderKitchen to talk about this war novel.
Parker’s own experiences form the basis of his novel. Central character Tom Barnes loses his legs after he steps on a bomb, just like Parker did. Subsequently he needs to learn to deal with his transformation from troop leader to amputee. But there are more reasons why this is a remarkable book: Parker follows characters from both sides of an unnamed conflict and the story is told from the point of view of various inanimate objects (a bike, a bag of fertiliser). The effect is both disorienting and captivating. The chapters could run nonsequentially. Parker: “I wanted it to be like you could chuck them into the air and read them in any order, because that’s what it’s like to be blown up. I liked the idea of creating a puzzle with each chapter. I wanted the reader to ask, ‘Where am I?’”
Writer and journalist Rosan Hollak will interview Harry Parker this evening (in English).
Anatomy of a Soldier will be published in its Dutch translation (Anatomie van een soldaat) in March 2016 by publishing house Hollands Diep. The book is translated by Paul van der Lecq.

18.02.2016 - Nell Zink

The much appraised Nell Zink is our guest on Thursday February 18th. She will be interviewed about her novel Mislaid.

Nell Zink (1964) made her debut in 2014, encouraged by Jonathan Franzen. Franzen was so much impressed by her writing that he personally approached publishing houses to get her work published. And not without success. The Wallcreeper and Mislaid were published short after each other in the US and the United Kingdom and straightaway meant Zink’s big literary breakthrough.

Journalist en literary reviewer Persis Bekkering will interview her (in English) about her novel Mislaid.

Stillwater College in Virginia, 1966. Freshman Peggy, an ingénue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue-blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill-advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage. The two are mismatched from the start—she’s a lesbian, he’s gay—but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runs off with their three-year-old daughter, leaving their nine-year-old son behind. Peggy goes underground, adopting an African American persona for her and her daughter. Years later, a minority scholarship lands Karen at the University of Virginia, where Byrdie is in his senior year. Eventually the long lost siblings will meet, setting off a series of misunderstandings and culminating in a comedic finale worthy of Shakespeare.

‘The novel’s charm and intelligence run deep. It’s a provocative masquerade with heart, not just an exercise in role reversals, reminding us that the gaps and cracks between our insides and our outsides are the spaces where our spirits live.´ – The New York Times Book Review 
‘Mislaid is a Great American Novel.’ – The Telegraph 
‘Zink is a comic writer par excellence, one whose particular gift is the capacity to keep a perfectly straight face.’ – The New Yorker
The Dutch translation of Mislaid will be published by publishing house Ambo|Anthos in february as Misplaatst. In a translation by Gerda Baardman.

08.02.2016 - Lynsey Addario

Lynsey Addario is our guest on the 8th of February. Rosan Hollak will interview her (in English) about her memoires It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.

Lynsey Addario was just finding her way as a photographer when September 11th took place. One of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, she gets the call to return and cover the American invasion. She makes a decision she would often find herself making—not to stay home, not to lead a quiet or predictable life, but to risk her life, to set out across the world, and to make a name for herself.
It’s What I Do gives an impressive view of life at the front and is a testimony of the price of war.
As a woman photojournalist determined to be taken as seriously as her male peers, Addario fights her way into a boy’s club of a profession, eventually earning widespread recognition, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and a Pulitzer Prize. Refusing to turn down career-defining assignments, she puts romance and family on hold. Yet the sadness and injustice she encounters as as a conflict reporter give her a new vision for her own life, and the more she sees of the world, the greater her desires for love and family grow.
It’s What I Do is also the story of how Addario met her husband and father to their child, and how as a war correspondent and a mother, she learned to live her life in two different—though hardly separate—worlds.
‘A remarkable journalistic achievement… that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Told with unflinching candor [Addario] brings an incredible sense of humanity to all the battlefields of her life. A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific. ‘ – Kirkus 
The Dutch translation of It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War will be published by publishing house De Arbeiderspers in January as Dit is wat ik doe: fotograferen in tijden van liefde en oorlog. In a translation by Wim Scherpenisse.
After the interview you can purchase the book and can it signed by the author at the stand of our booksellers Van Stockum.

21.01.2016 - John Irving

On January 21st we welcome no other than John Irving. The American author has written numerous bestsellers including the classics The World according to Garp and The Cider House Rules, which were made into major films.

At BorderKitchen he will tell us more about his latest book: Avenue of Mysteries. Journalist and author Arjan Visser is the interviewer this evening.
In Avenue of Mysteries, Juan Diego—a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and raised in Mexico—has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what’s coming—specifically, her own future and her brother’s. Lupe is a mind reader, and she is usually right about the past; without you telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you.
Lupe doesn’t know the future as accurately. But consider what a terrible burden it is, if you believe you know the future—especially your own future, or, even worse, the future of someone you love. What might a thirteen-year-old girl be driven to do, if she thought she could change the future?
As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but travelling with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico.
Avenue of Mysteries is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past—in Mexico—collides with his future.
The Dutch translation of Avenue of Mysteries was published by publishing house De Bezige Bij in November 2015 as Avenue van de mysterieën. In a translation by Otto Biersma and Luud Dorresteijn.

15.01.2016 - Garth Risk Hallberg

Garth Risk Hallberg (1978) rose to stardom overnight in October 2015 when an American publishing paid a record amount for his 900-page debut novel City on Fire.
Hallberg had published before in The New York Times, Slate, the Los Angeles Times and The Millions, and worked on City on Fire (which he thought was unpublishable) for six years.

The novel brings together a cast of characters, beginning with an attempted murder in Central Park on New Year’s Eve 1976, and concluding it with the  New York blackout of July 1977.
Peter Buwalda (1971) is an author (he wrote – amongst other things – the international bestseller Bonita Avenue and weekly columns in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant) and also an expert on American literature. Maarten Dessing will lead this double interview with Buwalda and Hallberg.
New York City, 1976. Meet Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s great fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor—and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park on New Year’s Eve.
The mystery, as it reverberates through families, friendships, and the corridors of power, will open up even the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever.
City on Fire is a novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ’n’ roll: about what people need from each other in order to live, and about what makes the living worth doing in the first place.
The Dutch translation of City on Fire was published by publishing house Atlas-Contact in October 2015 as Stad in brand. In a translation by Harm Damsma and Niek Miedema.

- 2015 -

17.11.2015 - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is one of the great authors of our time. He has written twelve novels, one collection of stories and four nonfiction works, and is one of our most influential thinkers. He was born in Bombay in 1947 and debuted in 1975 with Grimus. He was awarded the Man Booker Prize for his second novel Midnight’s Children in 1981; this novel was also named the ‘Booker of Bookers’ in 1993, the prize for the best novel ever to win the Booker prize. Other highlights from his oeuvre include The Satanic Verses (1988) The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995; Whitbread award) and The Enchantress of Florence (2008). This fall Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights was published, Blending history, mythology and a timeless love story. Rushdie’s novel is a lush, richly layered story in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

13.11.2015 - A.B. Yehoshua

The Faulkner of Israel, as Abraham B. Yehoshua (1936) has also been called. With 11 books, translated into 30 languages, Yehoshua is one of Israel’s most important contemporary authors. He is known not to eschew controversial topics, a committed author for whom everything, as he himself puts it, ‘perfocibly revolves around the fundamental questions about life and death’.

At Crossing Border he will talk about his latest book The Retrospective. Yair Moses, an aging movie director, has been invited to attend a retrospective of his early works in Santiago de Compostela. The story that unfolds revolves around maybe one of man’s most typical characteristics: his ability to show mercy and compassion.

A.B. Yehoshua will be interviewed by Michel Krielaars


18.10.2015 - Isabel Allende

On 18 October the world famous author Isabel Allende will be our guest. Allende made her breakthrough with her novel The House of the Spirits and has since written 20 more books, with 65 million copies sold worldwide. In 2014 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from president Barack Obama: the highest civilian award of the United States.

At BorderKitchen she will talk about her latest novel The Japanese Lover, a book only she could write: colourful, full of drama, humour, cliff hangers and two women you can’t help but love.
Isabel Allende will be interviewed (in English) by Niña Weijers, author of the novel De consequenties.
Actress Lindertje Mans will read from the book.
El amante Japonés is published in The Netherlands by Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek as De Japanse minnaar, a translation by Henk van den Heuvel.

03.09.2015 - T.C. Boyle

On September 3rd T.C. Boyle, one of America’s most important contemporary authors, will visit BorderKitchen. He is in The Netherlands to talk about his new book The Harder They Come which was recently published in Dutch as Wie storm zaait and was received with great enthusiasm in the US and Germany. T. Coraghessan Boyle has 24 books to his name and has won quite a few literary prizes, among which the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best book of the year (World’s End, 1988) and the PEN/Malamud Prize for his short stories. The author will be interviewed by Arjan Visser.

In The Harder They Come Adam, son of a principal and Vietnam veteran, gets nothing done. He is expelled from several schools and goes from one psychiatrist to the next. Adam is a time bomb. He collects weapons, sleeps in the wilderness, grows poppies and never leaves the house without his night vision goggles. Then he meets Sara, a fanatic animal lover who is also anti everything: globalization, conspirators, government violence. And seat belts. They start a torrid love affair, until Sara realizes that Adam is more than serious about his enemies.

The Harder They Come is about the need for total independence and a thirst for violence, and how these go hand in hand. An analysis of American society ‘that is fraying at the edges’. Boyle knows how to put the finger on the pulse of time like no other.
‘He has pulled it off again in this new novel — and with even more complexity and chiaroscuro. From the novel’s thrilling set piece of a to its pensive conclusion, The Harder They Come is a masterly — and arresting — piece of storytelling, arguably Mr. Boyle’s most powerful, kinetic novel yet.’ – The New York Times
The Harder They Come is published in The Netherlands by Meridiaan Uitgevers as Wie storm zaait, a translation by Anne Jongeling.

15.07.2015 - Rachel Kushner

On July 15th the international bestselling author Rachel Kushner will be at BorderKitchen. She will be interviewed about her novel The Flamethrowers: the book made it to the final of the National Book Award and was named one of the five best books of the year by The New York Times. It also sparked her international breakthrough. The author will be interviewed by Joni Zwart.

The year is 1975 and Reno has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world, artists are blurring the line between life and art. Reno begins an affair with an artist named Sandro Valera, the semi-estranged scion of an Italian tire and motorcycle empire. When they visit Sandro’s family home in Italy, Reno falls in with members of the radical movement that overtook Italy in the seventies. Betrayal sends her reeling into a clandestine undertow.
‘Scintillatingly alive…It ripples with stories, anecdotes, set-piece monologues, crafty egotistical tall tales, and hapless adventures… It manifests itself as a pure explosion of now: it catches us in its mobile, flashing present, which is the living reality it conjures on the page at the moment we are reading…[Kushner’s] novel is an achievement…it succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive.’ – The New Yorker
For her first novel Telex From Cuba Rachel Kushner (1968) was nominated for a National Book Award. The Flamethrowers is her second novel. Kushner’s work has been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review and The Believer. In 2013 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
The Flamethrowers was published in Dutch as De vlammenwerpers by publisher Atlas Contact, in a translation by Lidwien Biekmann and Maaike Bijnsdorp.

04.06.2015 - Robert Seethaler

The Austrian/German bestselling author Robert Seethaler will be at BorderKitchen on June 4th to talk about his book Ein ganzes Leben [An Entire Life], the book that meant his breakthrough in Germany. Robert Seethaler was born in Vienna in 1966, he has written several novels among which Der Trafikant, which was very successful in Germany. Ein ganzes Leben has been at the top of the bestseller lists since its publication and was named best book of the year by German booksellers. Seethaler will be interviewed by Jeroen van Kan, in German.

In Ein ganzes Leben Robert Seethaler writes about the life of Andreas Egger. When Egger first arrives in the valley where he will spend his entire life, he is just four years old. The farmer Kranzstocker reluctantly takes him in and Egger grows up to be a farmhand that doesn’t remember much of his early life, other than a vague memory of warmth. As a young man he joins a group of workers who are constructing the first cable railway in the area, and the arrival of electricity also brings light and noise to the valley. On the day of a tragic accident Egger suddenly comes face to face with the love of his life, Marie, who he will soon lose again. Years later, when the world has changed and Egger is walking his last path, she will be with him just once more.
Ein ganzes Leben is published in The Netherlands by De Bezige Bij as Een heel leven, translated from German by Liesbeth van Nes.
This BorderKitchen is organised in association with the Austrian Embassy The Hague and the Genootschap Nederland Duitsland.

19.05.2015 - Emmanuel Carrère

On May 19th the French bestselling author Emmanuel Carrère will be at BorderKitchen. He will be interviewed by journalist Maarten Dessing about his new book Le Royaume [The Kingdom]. Emmanuel Carrère (1957) is a successful author, screenwriter and director. He received the Prix Femina for his breakthrough book La classe de neige (1995). In 2011 he wrote Limonov, with the original winning the Prix Renaudot and the Dutch translation winning the Europese Literatuurprijs. Recently he was one of the screenwriters of the French tv series Les Revenants.

Le Royaume tells the story of two men, Paulus and Lucas, who transformed a small jewish sect worshiping a crucified messiah into a religion that crossed the world and which is still followed by a quarter of the world’s population today. At the same time, Le Royaume is the personal search of author Emmanuel Carrère, who became a practicing catholic 25 years ago to save his marriage but fell away from the faith. In a respectful and compassionate way Carrère searches for the meaning of Christianity and an explanation for the success of the counter intuitive principles that it propagates (like ‘the last will be first’) with both religious and non-religious people.
Le Royaume is published in Dutch by De Bezige Bij as Het koninkrijk, translated from French by Kathelijne De Vuyst and Katrien Vandenberghe.

01.04.2015 - Jan van Dingstee

On April 1st Jan van Dingstee will present his book De opbrengst van creativiteit [The yield of creativity] during a BorderKitchen in Zaal 3. Besides the interview with the author, Frank Boeijen and Daniel Lohues (who were also interviewed for the book) will present the first copy in their own special way.


In his book De opbrengst van creativiteit Jan van Dingstee explores the essence of creativity in the arts and offers psychological insights into the fascinating struggle and motivation of the artist. The author uses a historical perspective to discover under which circumstances creative people can thrive in a company or organisation. Van Dingstee also looks at how we can come to better way of life in everyday situations.

De opbrengst van creativiteit is illustrated with ten compelling exposes about creativity with Frank Boeijen, Henk Hofstede, Guus Janssen, Freek de Jonge, George Kooymans, Jiří Kylián, Daniel Lohues, Chiel Meijering, Marc Mulders and Robert Jan Stips.

Jan van Dingstee is a music industry veteran and has worked together intensively for years with many Dutch artists. At multinational Bertelsmann, he was responsible for attracting and supporting new talent and the marketing and exploitation at home and abroad. Later he set up a new branch of artist management for MOJO Concerts / Live Nation. He now works as a consultant.

17.02.2015 - Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett (1982) grew up in County May, Ireland. His stories were published in several anthologies. Young Skins is his debut. Set for the most part in the fictional County Mayo town of Glanbeigh, the stories deftly explore the wayward lives and loves of young men and women in contemporary post-boom Ireland. With themes ranging from loneliness and desire to violence and self destruction. In Glanbeigh, it matters who’s sister you’re seen with after closing time and it matters when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. The young, talented Barrett writes brilliantly about the lives and loves of young men and women living in modern day Ireland.

The Dutch translation of Young Skins was published on January 8th as Jonge gasten by publisher De Bezige Bij. A translation by Joris Vermeulen.


17.02.2015 - Kevin Barry

The Irish author Kevin Barry (1969) published short stories in many leading magazines, including The New Yorker. His debut novel City of Bohane was awarded the prestigious impac-Award. In his new book Dark Lies the Island Barry connects the literary class of James Joyce with the mischievous playfulness of Roald Dahl. His stories are original and witty and are about unrequited love and failed crimes. Barry’s dazzling use of language, perfect dialogues and sharp eye for tragedy and comedy in everyday life give his stories great energy.

The Dutch translation of Dark Lies the Island was also published on January 8th by published De Bezige Bij. The translation is by Auke Leistra.

28.01.2015 - Michel Faber

On Wednesday 28 January Michel Faber will come to The Hague for an interview at BorderKitchen. Faber will be interviewed about his new, long-awaited novel The Book of Strange New Things.

Michel Faber (1960) was born in The Hague, grew up in Australia and currently lives in Scotland. His debut collection of stories Some Rain Must Fall received critical acclaim and won several awards. Since then, Faber has belonged to the cream of the crop of international modern literature. The first of Faber’s startling novels to be published, Under the Skin, as well as the collection of stories The Fahrenheit Twins also have received a lot of praise. But Faber’s magnum opius was his 2002 publication of The Crimson Petal and the White. A bestseller in the USA, Italy, France, Holland and Belgium, and a steady seller in most other countries.

Faber’s latest book is titled The Book of Strange New Things and begins with a man saying goodbye to his wife before he sets out on a perilous journey as a Christian missionary. From the moment Peter leaves his wife, Bea, he takes on a quest that puts him to the test. Somewhere far away, in an unfathomable universe Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment… and the mysteries of himself. The Book of Strange New Things is, as we are used to from this author, an exhilarating, groundbreaking novel about adventure, faith and love: the things that bind people, even when they are light years away.

Michel Faber is interviewed by journalist Gijsbert Kamer. On 20 January the Dutch translation of The Book of Strange New Things will be published by Uitgeverij Podium as Het Boek van Wonderlijke Nieuwe Dingen. In a translation by Harm Damsma and Niek Miedema.

- 2014 -

12.12.2014 - Martha Nussbaum

Martha Nussbaum is Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Nussbaum has written several books, some of which have been translated into Dutch, including: Upheavals of thought, The Fragility Of Goodness, Not for profit, Creating capabilities and The new religious intolerance. Nussbaum is honorary doctor at The University of Humanistic Studies of Utrecht and at KU Leuven.

In March, the Dutch translation of her book Political emotions. Why love matters for justice was published. In this new book, Nussbaum wants to give emotions their rightful place: at the heart of political theory. In this pioneering and groundbreaking work Nussbaum’s main themes come together: the philosophy of emotions and the theory of social justice form a plea for more empathy in political theory. Provocative, smart and relevant – as only Nussbaum can be.

Political Emotions. Why Love Matters for Justice has been translated into Dutch as Politieke emoties. Waarom een rechtvaardige samenleving niet zonder liefde kan by Peter Diderich and Carola Kloos and is published by Ambo. Martha Nussbaum will be interviewed by Simone van saarloos.

14.11.2014 - Henry Marsh

What does it feel like to drill into the delicate matter that originates all our thinking and feeling? What is it like to hold such power over someone’s life? Henry Marsh, one of Britain’s most outstanding neurosurgeons, shows us what it means to play God. He allows us a peek into the intensely dramatic proceedings of the operating room, the complexity of the brain and the bluntness of the surgeon’s knife in comparison.
Do No Harm – the title refers to part of the Hippocratic Oath – ventures into the painful dilemmas encountered during every operation, for the patient, the family and the surgeons. Do No Harm is a personal account of a journey into the fallibility of doctors, the limits of medicine and the universal need for hope when confronted with the hardest decisions in life.
Interviewer Bert Keizer is doctor, philosopher and writer of several books and columns in medical and current affair magazines. He is also an avid stand-up philosopher. As a doctor he is no stranger to taking hard decisions himself so he relates to Henry Marsh in a special way.

“Marsh has written a book about a love affair, and one cannot help feeling similarly smitten … ‘Elegant, delicate, dangerous and full of profound meaning’. All four of those epithets might describe this book.” — THE SUNDAY TIMES

“Do No Harm is an elegant series of meditations at the closing of a long career. Many of the stories are moving enough to raise tears … At heart, this is a book about wisdom and experience.” — THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
“Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh… sets a new standard for telling it like it is… His love for brain surgery and his patients shines through, but the specialty – shrouded in secrecy and mystique when he entered it – has now firmly had the rug pulled out from under it. We should thank Henry Marsh for that. We need his wisdom as a “roof” for future surgeons and a rein for public expectations. A good death, without surgery, is a very good outcome” — THE TIMES

14.10.2014 - Simon Winder

Simon Winder is coming to BorderKitchen on the occasion of his book Danubia. He works in the British publishing world. Previous works include The Man Who Saved Britain and the acclaimed Germania, which precedes Danubia.

For centuries Europe was in the hands of the peculiar Habsburg dynasty, which ruled over big parts of Central Europe and Germany until 1918 and was involved with everything that happened in Europe. Danubia is the collective term for countries and regions surrounding the Danube river, the home of the Habsburgers.

Simon Winder travels through this vast region, with its varied landscapes, cities and towns, with great enthusiasm. In his very personal way, he shares his knowledge, amazement and observations and explains how this dynasty’s complex history fits together. And he writes about the people and nations over which it ruled. People who were often remarkably ungrateful towards their eccentric ruler in Vienna.

Simon Winder will be interviewed in English by Dutch journalist and tv personality Wim Brands. You can buy the book at the BorderKitchen and have it signed by Winder after the interview.Quotes:

‘[Winder] never stops talking and rarely pauses for breath. Even then, however, you want to tell him: Forget about breathing and just go on talking. Danubia is a long book, yet this reader would not mind if it were longer still.’ —Andrew Wheatcroft, The New York Times Book Review

‘Memorably funny . . . wonderfully readable and entertaining’ – Sunday Times

29.09.2014 - Bernhard Schlink


Bernhard Schlink (Germany, 1944) is Emeritus Professor of Law at Humboldt University in Berlin. As an author he rose to fame twenty years ago with his novel Der Vorleser, the first foreign novel to stay at the top of The New York Times bestseller list for a long time. The film adaptation – with leading roles for Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes – was awarded an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Schlink has written the novels Die Heimkehr and Das Wochenende, the collection of stories Liebesfluchten and Sommerlügen, the detective Selbs Justiz, and many other books.
In September the Dutch translation of Die Frau auf der Treppe will be published, about a woman and her portrait. This world famous portrait, long thought lost, suddenly resurfaces. A surprise for the art world, but also for the three men who long ago, each in their own way, loved the woman – and ultimately felt betrayed by her.
This interview will be held in German. The interviewer is Michel Krielaars (NRC). The Dutch translation of the book is by Gerda Meijerink. This BorderKitchen is organised in collaboration with Literaturhaus Deutsche Bibliothek The Hague and the Genootschap Nederland Duitsland.


Schlink may be an expert on the letter of the law, but writer Schlink is an
intrepid explorer of the much trickier terrain of the human heart.’ – Newsweek


18.09.2014 - Marie Darrieussecq

On Thursday 18 September BorderKitchen is organising an interview with
French author Marie Darrieussecq. She will be interviewed about her new novel Il
faut beaucoup aimer les hommes
at Kerkstraat 11 in The Hague.

Marie Darrieussecq (France, 1969) is seen as one of France’s foremost literary authors, ever since the publication of her debut Truismes – a novel about a woman who slowly turns into a pig. The book sold over one million  copies and the translation rights were bought by 37 countries. She later published Le Bébé, Tom est Mort, Clèves and many others.

Mid-September the Dutch translation of Darrieussecq’s Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes will be published. In which Solange – a French actress who has made it all the  way to Hollywood – meets a black actor from Canada at a party at George
Clooney’s house. They start a passionate affair, but Kouhouesso (of Cameroonian
descent) keeps more distance than the obsessed Solange. His focus is on an
enormous movie project set to take place in the inlands of Congo. For the
already small role of Caucasian woman Solange has her eye on, Kouhouesso
initially thinks of Gwyneth Paltrow or Kim Wilde. Still, Solange follows him to
the deepest part of dark Africa.


Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes has been translated into Dutch as Je moet veel van mannen houden by Mirjam
de Veth en is published by De Arbeiderspers. Darrieussecq is interviewd in English by Liddie Austin.

‘It’s a
novel about passion, about what it means to be European, American or African,
but also a book about unattainability of the other, especially when they have a
different skin colour.’ – Margot Dijkgraaf in NRC Handelsblad 

26.08.2014 - Daniel Galera

On Tuesday 26 August the Brazilian author Daniel Galera will visit BorderKitchen. He will be interviewed about his novel Blood-Drenched Beard.

Daniel Galera (São Paulo, 1979) was featured in Granta magazine’s The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists in 2012. Blood-Drenched Beard is Galera’s third novel and meant both his breakthrough in Brazil and internationally. Galera is one of the founders of publishing house Livros do Mal and published his first novel Dentes Guardados there.
About Blood-Drenched Beard:
X’s father shoots himself, leaving his son with the old cattle dog, a family secret and a vague desire for explanation. He drifts south with the dog to Garopaba, a quiet little town on the Brazilian coast. He builds a new life for himself and tries to find out what happened to his grandfather, who disappeared in mysterious, possibly brutal, circumstances decades before. A neurological condition complicates things: he can’t recognize faces. The villagers react with hostility to his questions and it slowly dawns on him that he might suffer the same fate as his grandfather.
The Dutch translation of Barba Ensopada de Sangue was published by Atlas Contact as Met bloed doordrenkte baard. The book was translated by Harrie Lemmens.

10.07.2014 - Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas (Melbourne, 1965) is an Australian of Greek heritage. Tsiolkas is seen as one of Australia’s most important contemporary authors. He has written novels and stories, The Slap meant his international breakthrough.

In Tsiolkas’ book Barracuda Daniel Kelly, hailing from a working-class neighbourhood in Melbourne, Australia, dreams of winning Olympic gold in swimming. After being scouted by the swimming coach of a prestigious private school he is offered a scholarship. But his complacent and wealthy classmates don’t like him. The contrast between Daniel’s colourful, warm family life and the tough competition at school is harrowing. When Daniel, nicknamed Barracuda, loses everything, he learns what it means to be a good person – and what it takes to become one. Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas isn’t just about performance anxiety and self-confidence, it is also a moral sketch of the sports obsessed Australia. A book about friendship and family ties, dreams and disillusionment.
The novel Barracuda has been translated into Dutch by Tjadine Stheeman and Onno Voorhoeve and will be published in June 2014 by publisher Ambo | Anthos.

06.06.2014 - Michael Cunningham

On Friday June 6th one of the greatest American novelists will come to The Hague for an interview at BorderKitchen: Michael Cunningham will be interviewed about his new novel The Snow Queen.

Michael Cunningham (1952) is one of the great authors of the modern, western sense of life. Most famous for his bestselling books Flesh and Blood, A Home at the End of the World, The Hours, Specimen Days and By Nightfall. He was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the pen/Faulkner Award for The Hours.
In The Snow Queen we follow the Meeks brothers Barrett and Tyler, and the people around them, in their search for meaning. Ever since their mother was hit by lightning, Barrett and Tyler have been captivated by signs from above. Barrett does not believe in God but, after seeing a vision in the night sky of New York, he begins to doubt his rejection of religion. Tyler, soon to marry his seriously ill girlfriend Beth, has his own struggles: he is trying to write her the perfect song.
When Beth’s condition unexpectedly improves, all three are overwhelmed by conflicting feelings of hope, guilt and disillusionment.
Michael Cunningham will be interviewed by Auke Hulst at the Theatre at the Spui. The Snow Queen has been translated into Dutch by Marijke Versluys as De sneeuwkoningin. This BorderKitchen is organised in collaboration with publisher Prometheus.

21.05.2014 - Ferdinand von Schirach

The German author and criminal lawyer Ferdinand von Schirach will be interviewed, in German, by Michel Krielaars (NRC Handelsblad) about his new crime novel Tabu.
Ferdinand von Schirach (Munich, 1964) works as a criminal lawyer in Berlin. Among his clients are many prominent figures, industrialists and organised criminals. Crime was his literary debut, which was published in 2009 and sold to thirty countries.
It was followed by Guilt and The Collini Case. In this last novel Ferdinand von Schirach based a character on his own grandfather Baldur von Schirach, who founded the Hitlerjugend and was later convicted for that at the Nuremberg Trials.
In May another of Ferdinand von Schirach’s novels will be published in The Netherlands as Taboe.
In this novel the successful photographer Sebastian von Eschburg is accused of killing a young woman. His lawyer Konrad Biegler represents him and by doing so not only helps the artist, but also himself.

16.04.2014 - Eleanor Catton

Author Eleanor Catton is coming to BorderKitchen on April 16th. She is the author of The Luminaries and the youngest winner in the Man Booker Prize’s history.
BorderKitchen is organising an interview with the Canadian born, and New Zealand raised author on April 16th in The Hague.
Her book The Luminaries was written in a Victorian style and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device, using the star signs of the twelve main characters and the movements in the sky of 19th century New Zealand. The novel begins on 27 January 1866 when, on a stormy night, a weary traveler encounters a secret society of twelve men. A mysterious adventure unfolds in this hefty novel, a web of events, brilliantly interwoven and richly told.
Eleanor Catton debuted at the age of 22 with The Rehearsal. The Luminaries is her second novel and is being published in March in Dutch as Al wat schittert. It is a translation by Gerda Baardman and Jan de Nijs and is published by Anthos. At BorderKitchen Eleanor Catton will be interviewed by journalist and author Liddie Austin,
“It’s a dazzling work. It’s a luminous work. It is vast without being sprawling,” – Robert Macfarlane, chair of the judges of the Man Booker Prize
“Irresistible, masterful, compelling. . . . The Luminaires has a gripping plot that is cleverly unravelled to its satisfying conclusion, a narrative that from the first page asserts that it is firmly in control of where it is taking us. . . . [Catton is] a mistress of plot and pacing. . . .” —The Telegraph (5-star review)

29.03.2014 - Etgar Keret

Keret (Tel Aviv, 1967) is one of the most important storytellers from contemporary Israel. His books are published in 34 countries and he publishes stories in Le Monde, The New York Times and others.

At BorderKitchen he will be interviewed by Arjan Visser about the Dutch translation of his new collection of stories Seven Good Years.  In this new book Keret writes about seven years of his life in a tragicomical way, years which coincide with the first years of his son Lev’s life.

06.03.2014 - Riikka Pulkkinen

Riikka Pulkkinen (1980) made a breakthrough with her debut novel The Border in 2009, after studying philosophy and literature in Helsinki. The book made a great impact in Finland and brought her international popularity. In 2011 True was published, followed now by her new novel: The Book of Strangers.

In The Book of Strangers Riikka Pulkkinen tells the story of vicar Maria. She flees Helsinki – and by doing so also her husband – after an incident that makes staying unbearable for her. In the sanctuary of New York Maria must on the one hand come to terms with her past and on the other cope with many new experiences. A lover and a dancer give Maria food for thought and force her to renew the connection with her own body.

The Book of Strangers was translated from Finnish into Dutch as Vreemdeling by Annemarie Raas and published by De Arbeiderspers. This BorderKitchen is made possible by a collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux. Riikka Pulkkinen will be interviewed in English by Arjan Peters (de Volkskrant).

19.02.2014 - Helon Habila

On Wednesday February 19th the Nigerian author Helon Habila will visit BorderKitchen’s literary salon to talk about his book Oil on Water. He will be interviewed – in English – by Toef Jaeger.
Helon Habila (born in 1967) started out as a journalist in Nigeria. He has lived in Lagos, Norwich, New York, Washington DC, Berlin, and currently teaches creative writing at George Mason University in Virginia, USA. Habila has been awarded several prizes for his poetry and novels, and wrote Waiting for an Angel and Measuring Time before publishing Oil on Water.
Rufus, the young Nigerian from Oil on Water is a journalist. Together with his journalistic hero Zaq, Rufus travels to the Niger Delta to search for the kidnapped wife of a rich British petro chemist. It seems to be a ‘simple kidnapping’ where the ransom will be paid as soon as the journalists find proof that the woman is still alive. However, the search quickly turns out to be a complicated and perilous quest in the environment soiled by oil. The journalists face disease, meet the last inhabitants of villages abandoned due to poverty and are taken prisoner by Nigerian soldiers. The result is a gripping story with a distressing message about contaminated oil in Nigeria.
Oil on Water has been translated into Dutch by Aleid van Eekelen-Benders as Olie op water – and is published by Nieuw Amsterdam. Helon Habila will be interviewed by NRC journalist Toef Jaeger.

- 2013 -

17.10.2013 - Almudena Grandes

Almudena Grandes, the grande dame of Spanish literature, is back at Crossing Border this year! She will talk about her new book Las tres bodas de Manolita [Manolita’s Three Weddings], which will be published in Dutch this autumn. Grandes (Madrid, 1960) debuted in 1989 with the erotic, controversial novel The Ages of Lulu and has been an important part of the Spanish literary landscape ever since. In Spain, Grandes is one of the most praised and bestselling literary authors.

Manolita has just turned 18 when her life is put to the test. She is a shrewd, but sensible young woman who feels most at home in the background. However, when her brother Antonio comes to her begging for help with the resistance against dictator Franco, she decides to do it. Manolita transforms into a strong and passionate key figure in the tight circle of friends fighting for democracy. The calm, and at first glance not very attractive, resistance fighter Silverio turns out to be her true love, and that will change her life for good. But in a dictatorship, even the most trusted friends are unreliable. The betrayal comes awfully close and their love and friendship are at stake.

Almudena Grandes will be interviewed by Rosan Hollak

04.10.2013 - Marisha Pessl

After her very popular debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics Marisha Pessl is back with Night Film. She is coming to BorderKitchen to talk about it on October 4th. With her debut Pessl gave us an elegant, compelling and chillingly suspenseful novel. She stormed bestseller lists worldwide and was chosen as one of the year’s ten best books by The New York Times.

Her long awaited second novel Night Film is about the thin line between fact and fiction.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. He has been following the Cordova family for years, and is obsessed with Stanislas Cordova, the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film and Ashley’s father.  The movie rights to Night Film have been bought by Chernin Entertainment. Rupert Wyatt, director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will direct the film.

03.10.2013 - Meindert Talma

Multitalented Meindert Talma combines music and literature in a BorderKitchen held at a unique location in The Hague: het Volkspaleis, the turbine hall of the E.On power station.

On October 3rd Meindert Talma will perform at BorderKitchen in The Hague, combining readings and songs into an organic live performance. At the time of the BorderKitchen Talma’s book Kelderkoorts will be published. This novel and album in one combines prose with eleven songs which can be seen as chapters of the book.
The book series Nederlands Onbekendste Popster [The Netherlands’ least known pop star] of which Kelderkoorts is the first, started after an article was published in Vrij Nederland. Journalist Sander Pleij wrote: ‘Meindert Talma is one of the best things Dutch art has produced: he is a musician, poet, artist and autonomous genius. (…) Maybe Meindert Talma is also the least understood pop star of The Netherlands. But Meindert remains hopeful. Meindert keeps going.’ It inspired Talma to create a series about why he (against his will) has become The Netherlands’ least known pop star. Besides themes as making music and writing, he also focuses on family, friendship and (it’s almost unavoidable) a troubled love life.

18.09.2013 - Arno Camenisch

Arno Camenisch (1978) was born in Tavanasa in the Swiss canton Graubünden. He writes poems, prose and plays. The Sez Ner trilogy is being published in twenty languages.

In Sez Ner Camenisch shows us short, sharp and vivid scenes from village life in the mountains of canton Graubünden. It’s a world of hard and sometimes dangerous work, loneliness and alcoholism. Camenisch captures this world
in his very expressive, tragicomic prose.

Sez Ner features several characters, stuck with each other at the foot of the Sez Ner mountain. The pig herder, the cow herder, the cheese maker and his apprentice: they live in the mountain pasture together, but they are also independent of each other, do their own things, have their own peculiarities.

Sez Ner is being published in Dutch in one book – part one is also called Sez Ner, followed by Achter het station and De laatste – and will appear shortly before BorderKitchen, published by the Bezige Bij translated by Miek Zwamborn.
Curious? Read the first thirty pages (in Dutch) here.

Camenisch received much praise for his trilogy in his homeland, and won the Friedrich-Hölderlin-Förderpreis 2013, the Eidgenössischer Literaturpreis, the Berner Literaturpreis, the ZKB Schillerpreis and the Retro-Romaanse literaturprijs Premi Term Bel.

12.09.2013 - Sofi Oksanen

Sofi Oksanen (Finland, 1977) made her international breakthrough with her third novel Purge, which has been published in more than fourty countries and of which have been sold more than a million copies worldwide. When the Doves Disappeared (original title Kun kyyhkyset katosivat) is the long awaited successor.

Estonia in the Second World War. The country is occupied by the Russians and Roland and his cousin Edgar are ‘Forest Brothers’ in the resistance. They hide in the woods and went into hiding with family. When the Russians are driven out by the Germans and Roland’s wife is murdered, it drives the two cousins apart. Edgar joins the Germans, Roland stays
with the resistance. In the sixties Edgar, aka Comrade Parts, is making a career for himself by writing about the German occupation and exposing Estonian fascists. His research leads him to his ex wife Juudit and his cousin, whose lives have turned out differently than he expected.

When the Doves Disappeared is a literary, thrilling novel about choosing between loyalty and disloyalty, set against the background of the events in Estonia in the forties and sixties.

03.09.2013 - Paul Ingendaay

Paul Ingendaay (1961) enjoys notoriety in Germany as a literary critic and cultural correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. These days he works for the newspaper as a freelancer so he can focus more on
writing. He has been living and working in Madrid for many years.

His recently published compelling novel Die romantischen Jahre outlines the years in life when anything seems possible, and how that works out for protagonist Marko Theunissen. How can one love women and yet not have one? How can one be a romantic with a yearning for a grand and compelling life, yet become an insurance agent? The tale of an unlikely hero who’s own life becomes an emotional wreck fit for an insurance claim.

In a certain way, the women Marko has known are like the great promises life has not fulfilled. If that is also the case with Angela, who is cheating on her husband with Marko, he has yet to find out. Only the hopeless romantic would embark on a relationship with a client. And since when are insurance agents romantics? Whilst a conniving colleague tries to blackmail him with his affair, Marko fights the oldest battle in the history of man: the fight with one’s own family.

13.06.2013 - Nathan Filer

On Thursday June 13th BorderKitchen presents an interview with the young British author Nathan Filer at Theater aan het Spui.

Nathan Filer (1980) debuts with The Shock of the Fall, making a grand entrance into the literary world: the tale is a shocking one, but its tone is uplifting and humorous. The book has been described as Jonathan Safran Foer meets Intouchables. In the story you are introduced to Matthew. From the mental institution to which he has been admitted he describes his life and its turning point: the death of his oldest brother Simon.

Nathan Filer will be interviewed, in English, by Auke Hulst, novelist (Kinderen van het ruige land a.o.), musician (De Meisjes a.o.) and journalist (NRC a.o).

01.05.2013 - Juli Zeh

Juli Zeh has, in less than ten years, grown from a promising young author to an established literary name in Germany. Her books Eagles and Angels(2001), Gaming Instinct (2008) and The Method (2009) were also very well received in The Netherlands. On May 1st, at BorderKitchen, she will introduce her most accessible novel to date: Nullzeit.

‘No-decompression limit’ or Nullzeit in German, is a scuba diving term which stands for the maximum amount of time one can stay underwater without having to making decompression stops. It is during these times that the relationship problems in Zeh’s novel are battled out. Actress Jola has come to the Canary Islands with her partner Theo to prepare for a new role. Sven has left Germany to become a diving instructor on the island. No interfering with other people’s problems – that’s his motto. But during the diving lessons with Jola and Theo, Sven turns from spectator to participant, turning an innocent flirt into a life threatening triangular relationship.

Juli Zeh has been our guest at Crossing Border several times (the last time together with indie rock band Slut), but this is her first time at BorderKitchen. She will be interviewed in English by Arjan Peters (de Volkskrant).

This BorderKitchen is organised in collaboration with publisher Anthos, and with the cooperation of the Goethe Institute. The book Nullzeit has been translated into Dutch by Hilde Keteleer as Nultijd.

23.04.2013 - Taiye Selasi

On Tuesday April 23rd Taiye Selasi will talk about her debut novel Ghana Must Go at BorderKitchen. Taiye Selasi was born in London, raised in Boston and is now living in Rome. She is the daughter of a Nigerian father and a Ghanese mother. Her story ‘The Sex Lives of African Girls’ was published in Granta Magazine and this debut was received with critical acclaim. In January Taiye Selasi’s first novel was published, Ghana Must Go. The book will appear in 15 countries, including The Netherlands, in the translation Ghana ga weg.

Ghana Must Go tells the story of the Sai family, who – after the sudden death of father and husband Kweku Sai – come together again. The brothers and sisters have spread out across the globe and they meet with their mother in Accra, Ghana. Why did the Sai family fall apart? In which abyss did Kweku fall, dragging his family with him? Author Taiye Selasi has written a grand and exciting journey spanning the globe.

This BorderKitchen will take place on Tuesday April 23rd in the BorderKitchen salon. Selasi will be interviewed – in English – by Liddie Austin.


19.03.2013 - Karl Ove Knausgård

On March 19th the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård (1968) will come to BorderKitchen to talk about (the Dutch translation of) his novel Min kamp. Tredje bok from the My Struggle series. At Theater aan het Spui he will be interviewed by Herman Koch. My Struggle is one of the greatest literary projects ever in Norway, earning Knausgård the status of a rock star.

At BorderKitchen Norse author Karl Ove Knausgård will talk about his novelTredje bok, the third volume of a total of six autobiographical novels. In this series he describes his life in very raw, and very great detail. The title of all six books is My StruggleMin kamp in Norwegian: a controversial umbrella title that caused quite a commotion. In the three years the six books were published, Karl Ove Knausgård reached the status of a rock star in Norway. After the publication of the Dutch translation of A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven in 2010, part one and two of My Struggle were published in Dutch. Part one, A Death in the Family, focuses on the difficult relationship with his father, and part two, A Man in Love, is the story of the author falling in love with his wife and the effect the daily reality has on it. The third volume is a relentless reflection on Knausgård as a child. A child that shows vulnerability, but also has a calculative and manipulative side…

Interviewer Herman Koch is a television producer (Jiskefet) and novelist (The Dinner among others).

Musician and artist Melle de Boer will play a short set at this BorderKitchen. Melle is known for his bands Smutfish and John Dear Mowing Club, and the musical collaboration with Henk Koorn of Hallo Venray.


05.03.2013 - Paolo Giordano


- 2012 -

27.11.2012 - Madeleine Albright

From 1997 to 2001 Madeleine Albright was the United States Secretary to President Bill Clinton. She was the 64th secretary of State, and the first woman in this position. At BorderKitchen she will talk about the non-fiction book.

It was not until 1997, when she had already been appointed by US President Bill Clinton, that Albright discovered an important part of her family history: her grandparents were Jewish and were killed during the Second World War. In the recently published Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, the former Secretary of State looks back on her youth in 1930s Prague. It is a search for the unknown roots of her Jewish family and the history of her motherland, Czecho-Slovakia.

At BorderKitchen she will talk about the non-fiction book Prague Winter. The interviewer is Willem Post.
For the organisation of this BorderKitchen we would like to say a special thanks to the municipality of The Hague and publisher Ambo.



16.11.2012 - Robert D. Kaplan

The American journalist/writer and military advisor Robert D. Kaplan is known and praised for his provocative and influential books. They are about worldwide subjects such as what the future may look like, what overpopulation and pollution can lead to, and where the power lies. His last big success is called Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power and tells of the economical and political emergence of countries in the Indian Ocean region.

03.10.2012 - Charles Lewinsky

Charles Lewinsky experienced his international breakthrough with his epic novel Melnitz (2006), which became a downright bestseller in Holland among other countries, and won the French Prix du Meilleur livre étranger for best novel in translation. To celebrate the publication of the Dutch translation of his new novel Gerron, Charles Lewinsky will be our guest at BorderKitchen.

Gerron tells the true story of Jewish actor Kurt Gerron. He was a theatre actor under director Max Reinhardt and Bertolt Brecht, acted in silent movies and later on he starred in films like The Blue Angel (Der Blaue Engel; opposite Marlene Dietrich). Besides being an actor, he was a film director himself. When Jews were no longer welcome at UFA, Germany’s principal film studio, Gerron went into exile in France and The Netherlands. In 1944 he was sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. After his arrival there, he is confronted with a horrible dilemma – the novel follows him while he is looking back on his life.

Charles Lewinsky (Zürich, 1946) worked for years as a dramaturge, director and editor, and writes novels, plays and television scripts. He has been our guest before, at Crossing Border festival – back then it was because of Johannistag, the succesor of Melnitz. We look forward to welcoming him again; this time he will be interviewed – in English – by Wim Brands (VPRO).

05.09.2012 - Nathan Englander

Earlier this month (we’re talking June now), the Dutch translation of Nathan Englander’s acclaimed new short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank was published. We very much look forward to welcoming him at BorderKitchen this September.

In What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank Nathan Englander dissects the human soul in eight stories. The title story is a provocative portrait of two marriages in which the Holocaust is played out as a devastating parlor game – a nod to Raymond Carver’s classic story ´What We Talk About When we talk About Love´. In Carver’s story, two couples drink gin and talk about love in an atmosphere that grows increasingly tense, leaving at least one of the speakers irreparably exposed in all his weakness. In Englander´s version, the conversation involves the topics of religion and ethnic identity, together with love and family ties major ingredients in the great questions of life that a lot of people are struggling with. Here, in this story, as in the other stories of the book, these questions are analyzed by Englander in a masterly fashion.

Nathan Englander was born in New York in 1970. He made his literary debut in 1999 with the short story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, followed in 2007 by The Ministry of Special Cases, a novel. This makes What We Talk About When We Talk about Anne Frank only his third book yet, a book that was eagerly welcomed and very well received by colleagues and literary critics alike.

During BorderKitchen, Nathan Englander will be interviewed – in English – by author and journalist Arjan Visser.

10.07.2012 - Hilary Mantel

On May 10th, Hilary Mantel presented the sequel to Wolf Hall: Bring up the Bodies. Two months later, in anticipation of its Dutch translation, she will visit us at BorderKitchen.

Wolf Hall was the fantastic, intriguing novel that won Hilary Mantel the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Its story is about Thomas Cromwell, long the right hand of Henry VIII. Cromwell has always remained a mysterious and controversial figure, unlike his rival, the utopist Thomas More. In Wolf Hall the roles are reversed; here, Cromwell has the nobler profile and More the narrow traits of a fanatic. The book ends with the beheading of More; in de preceding years Henry VIII has broken with Rome and created his own church. His first marriage has been annulled and the new woman at his side is called Anne Boleyn.

Then Bring up the Bodies starts. Henry’s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne fails to bear a son to secure the Tudor line. Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with yet another woman, Jane Seymour. He also sees what is at stake: not just the king’s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he seeks for a solution that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. That solution is the destruction of Anne Boleyn.  The facts about the Tudor dynasty are known to us, but how it all happened and what it shows us, that’s the fascinating territory of the historical novel, as is superbly demonstrated here by Hilary Mantel. And while Cromwell triumphs at the end of Bring up the Bodies, the reader knows that for Cromwell too the last episode is drawing near – something that will be addressed in the final book of Mantel’s trilogy.

Hilary Mantel is one of the great modern day writers. She is the author of eleven books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Giving Up the Ghost and Beyond Black. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies show her at the height of her narrative powers. During BorderKitchen, she will be interviewed by journalist and literary critic Liddie Austin (Red).

08.06.2012 - Josh Ritter

As a musician, singer-songwriter Josh Ritter is responsible for much acclaimed albums like Hello Starling and The Animal Years. Recently, he also made his literary entrée with Bright’s Passage, his first novel. To celebrate its Dutch translation, Ritter will be our guest at BorderKitchen.

In Bright’s Passage, main character Henry Bright has newly returned to West Virginia from the battlefields of the First World War. Griefstruck by the death of his young wife and unsure of how to care for the infant son she left behind, Bright is soon confronted by the destruction of the only home he’s ever known. His hopes for safety rest with the angel who has followed him to Appalachia from the trenches of France and who now promises to protect him and his son. Haunted by the abiding nightmare of his experiences in the war and shadowed by his dead wife’s father and his two brutal sons, Bright — along with his newborn — makes his way through a ravaged landscape toward an uncertain salvation.

06.06.2012 - Javier Marias

In 2009, the final volume of Javier Marías’ trilogy Your Face Tomorrow was extremely well received by Dutch literary critics, as it was almost everywhere else in the world. Marías’ books are sold in over forty countries and more and more often he is mentioned as a candidate for The Nobel Prize in Literature. Following the publication of the Dutch translation of his new novel, Los enamoramientos [Fallings in Love], Javier Marías will visit BorderKitchen on June 6th.

In Los enamoramientos, Maria Dolz, the main character and narrator, is obsessed by a couple that she sees in a café  each morning. The couple appears to be very happy, but then suddenly Miguel, the man, gets stabbed to death on the street. His wife Luisa stays away from the café quite some time, but when she returns, the two women become friends. Maria then meets Luisa’s and Miguel’s friend, Javier. She falls deeply in love with him, but also starts to wonder if he played a part in Miguel’s death.

Javier Marías (Madrid, 1951) is the author of several contemporary classics, such as Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me and A Heart So White. He studied English Literature and has translated into Spanish works by, among others, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Laurence Sterne and Seamus Heaney. He also contributes a weekly column to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

During BorderKitchen, Javier Marías will be interviewed in English. His interviewer will be Maarten Steenmeijer, Professor of Spanish Literature and Culture (Radbout University, Nijmegen), translator and literary critic for de Volkskrant.


29.05.2012 - Antony Beevor

On the first of this June, the new book by British military historian and bestselling author Antony Beevor, The Second World War, will be published worldwide – a magisterial, single-volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known. To celebrate the Dutch translation of The Second World War, Antony Beevor will visit BorderKitchen on May, 29th.

Beevor’s previous works – including Stalingrad, Berlin and D-Day – already showed his outstanding narrative power and his ability to use the most up-to-date scholarship and research, while writing with clarity and compassion. In The Second World War, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War.

Antony Beevor was educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst, where he studied under Sir John Keegan. His works, which have appeared in over thirty foreign editions, have been credited with – among others – the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson History Prize and the Spanish La Vanguardia Prize for Non-Fiction.

During BorderKitchen, Antony Beevor will be interviewed by Dutch historian and Historisch Nieuwsblad editor Bas Kromhout.

24.05.2012 - Erik Kriek

Erik Kriek, one of Holland’s best illustrators, presents his recently published graphic novel Het onzienbare, en andere verhalen van H.P. Lovecraft at BorderKitchen. His book is an adaptation of six stories by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

This evening will feature an interview with Erik Kriek by Wim Brands (VPRO), visual projections of some of Kriek’s illustrations, and part of a theatre monologue (Lovecraft’s ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’) by actor Joris Lehr. Also, The Mechanical Musical Marvels will take us back to times long gone with considerable help from their original 78 rpm-record collection.


15.03.2012 - Adam Johnson

Author Adam Johnson, one of America’s Best New Voices, presents the Dutch translation of his latest novel The Orphan Master’s Son at BorderKitchen.

The Orphan Master’s Son is the story of Pak Jun Do, a ‘humble citizen’ of North Korea, ‘the greatest nation in the world’. He is the son of a disappeared mother and a powerful father who is in charge of an orphanage called Long Tomorrows. Jun Do establishes a career for himself by becoming a soldier, a spy and eventually a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what one could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong-il in an attempt to save the woman he loves – Sun Moon, a legendary actress ‘so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.’

Recently, North Korea has been at the centre of the world’s attention, following the death of Kim Jong-il. This gives The Orphan Master’s Son a strong sense of momentum. Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, it is also a riveting portrait of a world before now hidden from view. In 2007, Adam Johnson traveled through North Korea himself in order to prepare for his book.

During BorderKitchen, Adam Johnson will be interviewed by Dutch author and journalist Henk van Straten (Nieuwe Revu, Vrij Nederland).

- 2011 -

21.09.2011 - David Vann

David Vann (1966) was born and raised in Alaska, which is also where his much-lauded books Legend of a Suicide and Caribou Island take place. Earth and Goat Mountain also became worldwide bestsellers. His books have been translated into 21 languages and Vann has performed at as many as 65 international literary festivals. We’ve seen Vann perform at previous Crossing Borders and at BorderKitchen and are glad to have him back at this year’s festival. This time, to talk about his newest novel Aquarium.

Aquarium tells the tale of twelve-year-old Caitlin lives alone with her mother—a docker at the local container port—in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence.

David Vann will be ïnterviewed by Hans Bouman.

16.09.2011 - Eef Lanoye

<p><em>Sterrenogen</em>: launch of Eef Lanoye’s debut collection of short stories. <br /><br />N.B. Admission to this event

13.09.2011 - Michel Houellebecq

The announced visit by author Michel Houellebecq to The Netherlands and Belgium has unfortunately been cancelled. The author did not show up. Houellebecq would be making various appearances following the publication of his book La carte et le territoire in Amsterdam, The Hague and Brussels from 12 to 15 September, giving interviews to the press and attending public events.

Due to the author’s no-show his appearance at BorderKitchen has regrettably also been cancelled. 

Michel Houellebecq presented his long awaited new novel La carte et le territoire last September. Three months later the book was awarded the Prix Goncourt, the most important French literary prize. The Dutch translation was published in May, and the English translation will be available at the end of September. Following the book’s publication Michel Houellebecq will be our guest on September, 13th.

During BorderKitchen Houellebecq will be interviewed in French; translation in Dutch is provided. Martin de Haan, longtime translator of Houellebecq’s work, will take on the role of interviewer as well as interpreter this evening.

31.08.2011 - Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh is obviously well known for the legendary Trainspotting (1993). Welsh’s genius debut novel was made into a just as brilliant movie by Danny Boyle – with breakthrough roles by Ewan McGregor c.s., an exhilarating soundtrack (‘Born Slippy’!) and an infamous party at the Cannes International Film Festival. The marginal characters taking the lead in his debut have gone on to populate his later novels too: druggies, pimps, drunks, people on the fringes of life, usually expressing themselves in rich Scottish slang. In his latest novel Crime that’s no different, albeit that Welsh is more openly showing his engagement this time.

After a rather traumatic crime investigation and the ensuing burn out, Scottish Detective Inspector Ray Lennox retreats to the shelter of sunny Florida. Getting married, resting and trying to stay off drugs are his main goals for the future. But while Trudi can’t stop talking about the upcoming wedding, Ray, becoming ever more depressed, turns to the local bars and clubs of downtown Miami. When two women offer him cocaine and sex, he doesn’t have to think about it for long. In their apartment he meets a ten year old girl on the verge of becoming a victim of a paedophile network. Lennox takes her into his care, but soon realizes that the demons haunting him in Edinburgh will not leave him alone here either.

Irvine Welsh will be interviewed by Ronald Rovers (VPRO Gids, Filmkrant).

29.06.2011 - Stephen Fry

Yes! Stephen Fry will be our guest in June… He’s coming over to talk to author and journalist Arjan Visser about his memoires The Fry Chronicles.

Stephen Fry enjoys immense popularity in the United Kingdom, due to his work as an actor, writer and presenter. In The Netherlands, many may recognize him as Lord Melchett from Blackadder or from his humourous sketches in A Bit of Fry and Laurie (with Hugh Laurie, known from his role as doctor House). He is also known to an international audience for more serious roles, like author Oscar Wilde in the film Wilde. Nowadays, Stephen Fry presents the weekly BBC TV ‘quiz’ QI and is active daily on Twitter, where he has close to 2,5 million followers.

This autobiography spans 1979-1987, it charts his arrival at Cambridge up to his thirtieth birthday. With his trademark wit Stephen Fry writes about befriending Emma Thompson, cheating the university examination system and his first tentative steps in the world of comic entertainment.

25.05.2011 - Mensje van Keulen

29.04.2011 - Willy Vlautin

28.04.2011 - György Konrád

György Konrád was witness to some of Europe’s historical low points. He grew up in a Jewish-Hungarian family and only just managed to escape being deported to Auschwitz at the age of eleven, by going into hiding in Budapest. In 1956 he saw how the Soviets brutally beat down the Hungarian uprising. More than ten years later he published his debut novel The Case Worker – a story depicting the life of a social worker and his daily activities – with which he gained his first international fame. Under communism, Konrád would become known as a dissident; he was arrested in 1979 for his sociological study The Intellectual on the Road to Class Power. The arrest led to a wave of protest worldwide. Until 1988 – one year before the political transformation in his country  – his work remained banned in Hungary. In 1990 Konrád was elected president of International PEN, the writers organisation promoting literature and defending freedom of expression.

Shortly before his appearance at BorderKitchen a new collection of essays – the Dutch title being  Slingerbeweging – will be published. In it, Konrád contemplates the impact of the Hungarian history on his own life. He analyses his memories, during which there’s also room for more lighthearted subjects, such as his many travels, daily life in Budapest and his love for literature.

György Konrád will be interviewed (in English) by Wim Brands (VPRO).

10.02.2011 - Alissa Walser

In cooperation with the German Library of The Hague, we welcome Alissa Walser. At the end of January her beautiful novel Am Anfang war die Nacht Musik [in the beginning there was night music] will appear in a Dutch translation.

Walser based her novel on the meeting between the famous doctor/magnetizer Franz Anton Mesmer and the musical Wunderkind Maria Theresia von Paradis, in late 18th century Vienna. Walser knew from an early age of the historical existence of Mesmer, since she was brought up close to his house of birth. As a doctor he developed the magnetic therapy, something that made him famous among the general public but something he was mocked for at the same time within academic circles. When the famous pianist Maria Theresia von Paradis is placed in his care for treatment, this appears to be a golden opportunity for establishing his medical name. Maria Theresia has turned blind overnight at the age of three, and no one has been able to cure her ever since. Thanks to the personal attention Mesmer gives her, and their shared love for music, the girl flourishes, leading to an amazing result. But then other interests start being jeopardized…

Alissa Walser originally studied to be a painter, receiving her education in Vienna and New York. Since 1987 she is active as a translator and short story writer too. When a teacher once observed that one of her paintings was ‘mesmerizing’ Walser suddenly realised actually how enormous Mesmer’s impact must have been back then. It triggered her to write what came to be her debut novel: Am Anfang war die Nacht Musik.

Two years after her father Martin Walser visited our BorderKitchen, we are pleased that Alissa Walser will be our guest as well. She will be interviewed by Prof. Dr. Anthonya Visser (Leiden University). This evening will be in German.

- 2010 -

02.12.2010 - Wladimir Kaminer

Wladimir Kaminer will be our guest following the recently published Dutch translation of his novel Es gab keinen Sex im Sozialismus [sex didn’t exist in the Soviet Union].

This BorderKitchen is in cooperation with the German Library Foundation The Hague. The interview will take place in German.


06.10.2010 - Alessandro Baricco

Alessandro Baricco was one of the first Italian authors since Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco to gain a global readership again. In 1996 he published his breakthrough novel Silk, and since then his work remained assured of  worldwide attention. Silk was made into a film as was his theater monologue Novecento – The Legend of 1900 – and in Holland for instance, his novel Questa storia [this story] was successfully brought into the theatres as ‘Ultimo’ past season, with Ariane Schluter and Porgy Franssen playing the leading parts.

Meanwhile in Italy, Baricco himself undertook lots of other projects. He brought revisions of The Ilias and Moby Dick on stage and he hosted a popular television show on books. He also made his debut as a movie director in 2008 with Lecture 21. As for Holland, 2010 turns out to be a rather good Baricco-year. In January, the Dutch translation of I Barbari  [the barbarians] was published, a lengthy essay he wrote on the gradual downfall of our cultural awareness. At the end of September, his long awaited new novel will appear in Dutch: Emmaüs.

In Emmaüs, four boys with a strict catholic upbringing are forced to explore the uncultivated area between condemnation and salvation, when they become fascinated by the atheistic, worldly girl Andre. The result is a beautiful portrayal of the uncertainties of youth.

05.10.2010 - Ian McEwan

08.09.2010 - Karin Slaughter

The thriller genre is booming. Nowadays, one out of four books read is a thriller. Karin Slaughter is one of the authors primarily responsible for that fact. Her thrillers have been translated into 23 languages, and she has sold two million copies in The Netherlands alone!

Considering women are the main victims of violence, it is interesting that women should also be the primary readers of thrillers. Slaughter is an author who describes violence from a woman’s perspective. In her books, violent bursts are neither tough nor glamorous, but rather, chilly and ruthless. Her main characters are not one-dimensional victims, but damaged people who are at the same time strong and independent survivors. Slaughter’s books are not only compelling page-turners, but also ruthlessly investigate the psychology of abuse.

A ‘new Slaughter’ is always eagerly awaited. This July the wait was over: her new novel Broken appeared, featuring the familiar characters Sara Linton – pathologist – and dyslexic Detective Will Trent. Broken shot, as could be expected, straight to number 1 in the bestseller lists. To celebrate her new book, Karin Slaughter will be a guest at BorderKitchen on 8 September. She’ll be interviewed by Wim Brands (VPRO).

Please note: This BorderKitchen takes place at a different location. It will be held at: Pulchri, Lange Voorhout 15, The Hague. Start: 20.00 hrs.

‘Crime novels reflect their time and place, and good crime novels do it well. Mine are sometimes dirty, certainly, but not gratuitous. I describe the reality: there is violence.’ – Karin Slaughter

‘Karin Slaughter deserves all the praise she gets for her razor-sharp plotting and forensic detail. But for me the hook is in her characters and relationships. They are right on the mark. This is crime fiction at its finest.’ –  Michael Connelly



03.09.2010 -

About is a new novel with the great title ‘My Russian grandmother and her American vacuum cleaner’: the true and unbelievable, funny and sad story of the special relationships between the author’s grandmother and the vacuum cleaner (called and pronounced as a ‘sveeeeperr’ in this book) her brother-in-law sent her from America.
The ‘sveeeeperr’ is a major persona in this story, both because of its sudden and miraculous appearance and because of its effect on the plot and the characters. Shalev uses this vacuum cleaner as a basis for his story about an entire family and its history. His gaze is loving, kind and sometimes admiring. It is also a tale of a family that loves words and good stories. The reader learns about Shalev’s poetic and prosaic world. With this novel he has put together a delightful memoir.

Meir Shalev (1948, Israel), Israel’s first moshav and is one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists. His books have been translated into over 20 languages and have been bestsellers in Israel, Italy, Holland and Germany. Meir Shalev is also a columnist with the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. Shalev  is the recipient of The Prime Minister’s Prize (Israel), The Chiavari (Italy), The Juliet Club Prize (Italy), The Entholomogical Prize (Israel), The Wizo Prize in France, Israel and Italy, The Brenner Prize of 2006– the highest Israeli literary recognition awarded for his last novel, The pigeon and the boy.

Original Hebrew title: Hadavar Haya Kakha, 2009

English translation will be published in 2011.

Review of My Russian grandmother and her American vacuum cleaner (click)

“Meir Shalev is a master story teller whose magic realism is similar to the art of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” -Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


15.06.2010 - Yann Martel

Spanish-born Canadian author Yann Martel (1963) is best known for his Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi. Martel grew up in Costa Rica, France, Spain and Mexico, as well as Canada, and continued to travel widely as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. After obtaining a degree in Philosophy, Martel committed himself to writing at the age of 27.

Beatrice and Virgil
Yann Martel’s astonishing new novel begins with a successful writer (who transparently resembles Martel) attempting to publish his latest book, made up of a novel and an essay. The book is intended as a ‘flip book’ that the reader can start at either end, reading the novel or the essay first. When Henry’s concept is shot down in flames, he abandons writing altogether. The intriguing arrival of an envelope poses a puzzle that Henry cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the uncompromising world of the letters strange author (also named Henry), Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil. As we are drawn deeper into their disturbing moral fable, the relationship between the two faltering writers named Henry becomes more and more complex until it can only be resolved in an explosive, unexpected catastrophe.

With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so treasured, Beatrice and Virgil explores questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity.


26.05.2010 - Julia Blackburn

BorderKitchen welcomes British author Julia Blackburn, to present her autobiography The Three of Us, which was recently translated into Dutch.

With a poet for a father and a painter for a mother, Julia’s bohemian childhood had all the ingredients a scandalous novel would comprise of: neglect, violence, drugs, drink, suicide and sexual shenanigans. Yet, this is no fiction, and despite the shocking picture Blackburn paints of her dysfunctional upbringing, the ultimate message of her deeply frank autobiography is formed through understanding and forgiveness.

Her father Thomas Blackburn, despite enjoying success as a poet, was a fierce alcoholic and addict of sodium amytal, a dangerous combination that lead to violent outbursts towards his wife. Blackburn’s mother, the painter Rosalie de Meric, was fun and outrageous, and a self-confessed sex addict, resentful and overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood. Blackburn reveals “Right from the start, I was her sister, confidante and, eventually, her sexual rival.”

Blackburn is the author of several works of nonfiction, including the biographies of Napoleon (The Emperor’s Last Island) and Billie Holiday (With Billie), and of two novels, The Book of Color and The Leper’s Companions, both of which were short-listed for the Orange Prize. Her most recent book, Old Man Goya, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

24.04.2010 - Philippe Claudel

Philippe Claudel (1962) kick-started his career writing film scenarios as a student in Nancy, before trying his hand at fiction. Ever since, his works have swelled the hearts of an ever-growing mob of enthusiasts. His international breakthrough novel was Les âmes grises (Grey Souls). A couple of years later he was also very successful as a director, with his debut film ‘Il y a longtemps que je t’aime’ (‘I’ve Loved You So Long’), featuring Kristin Scott Thomas in a leading role.

Claudel will visit our BorderKitchen because of the publication in Dutch of two of his books: Quelques-uns des cent regrets [Everything I’m Sorry For] and Au Revoir Monsieur Friant [Goodbye Mister Friant]. In the former, the narrator returns to the scene of his childhood in a small northern town in France after the death of his mother. During the three days he spends there, he is plunged back into his childhood, raising questions and filling in the gaps that have remained since youth. Why did he turn his back on her at the age of sixteen? In Au Revoir Monsieur Friant it is Claudel himself who tenderly looks back on a long gone period, using the paintings of Emile Friant to reflect on the world of his grandmother.

08.04.2010 - Sarah Hall, Jáchym Topol


Sarah Hall (1974) will be our guest in celebration of the Dutch translation of her latest novel How to Paint a Dead Man. In the beautiful, sensuous prose we know Hall for, it explores the relation between art and death. We are taken back to the early 60’s, to an old and distinguished Italian painter, and a blind girl living in the same village – then, thirty years later, to a middle-aged landscape painter and his daughter, who is organising an exhibition in London. At the same time, she’s reeling from grief at the death of her twin brother and is drawn into a world of darkness and sexual abandon.

How to Paint a Dead Man is Hall’s fourth novel. Rewards for her work include the Commonwealth Writers Prize for her debut Haweswater (2002) and a Man Booker Prize shortlist spot for Electric Michelangelo (2004).

Jáchym Topol (1962) has been at the forefront of the Czech literary scene since publishing his epic novel Sestra in 1994 (published in English as City Sister Silver). He is now considered one of the greatest contemporary European writers. His latest novel has recently been translated into Dutch, as De werkplaats van de duivel [The Workplace of the Devil].

De werkplaats van de duivel is based on a terrifying history of World War II. The novel’s narrator was born and raised in the Czech city Terezin, where the infamous concentration camp was located. In an effort to save the declining city of underground passages, catacombs, barracks and secret places, the memories of the war are commercially exploited. The novel raises an oppressive question: Can what happened then happen to us again?

- 2009 -

19.11.2009 - Sandro Veronesi, Nicolai Lilin

Most non-Italians first heard of Sandro Veronesi as the author of The Force of the Past, a beautiful novel about a man whose life begins to falter once he finds out that his father possibly led a double life. The theme of the novel – Samuel Beckett’s I can’t go on, I’ll go on – continues to be an important theme for Veronesi: in his masterpiece Caos Calmo [calm chaos] the main character Pietro Paladini saves a woman from drowning while at home disaster strikes. Caos Calmo won the most important literary prize of Italy, was crowned Best European Novel in France and has been beautifully translated for screenplay with a movie starring Nanni Moretti.
Nicolai Lilin now lives in Italy but belongs to the Urka’s, a Siberian criminal community. They call themselves ‘honest criminals’ and as a reader you have to put aside your perceptions of good and evil when you read this story but you’ll soon see what they strive for. They follow strict ethical codes around the use of violence and have a Robin Hood look on life: fight the (corrupt) state and stand up for the destitute. Meanwhile the Urka’s have been ostracized to the most barren corner of Siberia- Transdniestra. Siberian Education is Lilin’s literary debut, a shout for survival for this dying community.

16.06.2009 - Sarah Waters

Bestselling author Sarah Waters was chosen as one of Granta’s best young writers in 2003. Fingersmith and The Night Watch were both on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Tipping the Velvet, Affinity and Fingersmith were all adapted into successful television dramas. In 2009 her book The Little Stranger was published, which was also nominated for the Booker Prize in 2010.
Waters’ latest novel The Paying Guests takes place in the impecunious twenties. London is a tense place where unemployment, disillusionment and poverty rule. A young couple comes to live with Mrs. Fray and her daughter Frances. The extra rent is more than welcome but what is the price for the flaring passions and their devastating changes?

Sarah Waters will be interviewed by Xandra Schutte.

14.06.2009 - Davide Longo, Milena Agus

For this summer Sunday afternoon BorderKitchen we have invited two young and talented authors to discuss their work as writers and their newest novels.

Milena Agus was born in Genoa to Sardinian parents and now lives in Cagliari where she teaches Italian and History. Madame Agnese (translated into Dutch by Jeanne Crijns) is the third novel by the hand of this young author who was the literary surprise of 2007 in Italy and an instant international hit with her novel Mal di Pietra. Her stories are original, unartificial and almost naive but clearly show her capacity to cross the boundaries of reality. Milena Agus won the 2008 City of Rome Literary Prize.

Davide Longo was born in Carmagnola near Turin where he still lives today. For his first novel Un mattino a Irgalem (translated into Dutch by Pieter van der Drift) he received the Grinzane Cavour Prize and the Premio Via Po for the best debut in Italy. His second novel Il mangiatore di pietre was awarded the Premio nazionale di narrativa Bergamo and the Premio Viadana. Longo is also an author of children’s books, short films and documentaries, his documentary Memorie dell’altoforno was screened at the Young Cinema festival in Turin.

The authors will be interviewed in English by Marc Leijendekker (NRC Handelsblad)


06.06.2009 - David Grossman

Acclaimed Israeli author David Grossman introduces his latest book Until the End of the Land.

To say Jerusalem-born Grossman (1954) is a force to be reckoned with is an understatement. The author of seven novels, a play, short stories, novellas, youth and children’s books and the recipient of numerous awards, Grossman has also tackled controversial topics with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Some of his most acclaimed works include The Zig-Zag Kid (1996), Her Body Knows (2004) and his recent political and cultural essays Writing in the Dark (2008).

Grossman’s intricate, structurally complex, daring and innovative writing style tend to incorporate ‘Injustice’ as a central theme to his stories, often expressing the brutal truth of Israeli life – a particularly valid subject in today’s war-torn reality. While writing Until the End of the Land, Grossman’s son was killed by a missile during a military operation. Though devastated, Grossman went on to finish the book. ‘Most of it was already written. What changed…was the resonance of the reality in which the final version was written.’ Grossman reveals. Until the End of the Land is the story of a young soldier assigned to a major military operation.

This BorderKitchen is in English. David Grossman will be interviewed by Marcel Möring (author of a.o. In a dark wood, The great longing and In Babylon).

28.05.2009 - Guus Janssen

Louis Lehmann (1920) is a multi-talent who discovered his musical capacities during high school and quickly began to compose his own music. A good 70 years later and he is still composing music, his last composition is from 2008. Inspiration comes from music from all over the world and is turned to Lehmanns own hand.

Caroline Erkelens
Caroline Erkelens studied at the Utrechts Conservatorium and the University of Bloomington Indiana. She has featured in a number of musical theatre productions and sang all of the female vocals in Guus Jansens adaptation of Drei Dreimäderlhaus. Carolines concert repertoire ranges from the Messiah of Händel and the 14th symphony of Shostakovich to the electro acoustic music of the Schreck-ensemble.
Tsead Bruinja
A fanatical poet both at home and abroad, Tsead was nominated for Dichter des Vaderlands this year. His most recent work is a collection of Friesian poetry Angel (Bornmeer, 2008)

Guus Janssen
Since the early 1980’s he has led his own ensembles, ranging from piano trios to 11-piece band and opera orchestra. Janssen’s achievements in the field of jazz and improvised music have been widely acclaimed and awarded the Boy Edgar Award in 1981. His compositions, quite apart from the pieces written for the Janssen ensembles, range from piano music and string quartet to symphonic work. His work Verstelwerk had its very successful New York premiere in Zankell Hall performed by the Riverside Orchestra. In November two new works will have their premiere during the Nederlandse Muziekdagen.

13.05.2009 - Todd Hasak-Lowy

Hasak-Lowy’s (U.S.A.) debut Captives is a fascinating literary combination of satire, a spiritual journey and political games. Daniel Bloom is a successful screenwriter who has trouble relating to his son and whose marriage is on the rocks. As his family life crumbles, Bloom begins to work on a new screenplay: a federal agent and a nameless assassin who targets the political and corporate elite. The agent starts to wonder whether he really does in fact want to capture the sniper. Bloom is not oblivious to the correlation between his screenplay and his own emotional crisis and anger at society. As a result Daniel seeks support through an extravagant young rabbi who experiments with drugs, sends him to Israel and tries to guide him to another life.

Hasak-Lowy will be interviewed by Hans Bouman.


21.04.2009 - Martin Walser

Martin Walser, an icon in German literature. Walser has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Georg Büchner Award and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. He has also been decorated with the Pour le Mérite medal and appointed Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His latest novel Ein Liebender Mann [A Loving Man] paints a moving, tender picture of an impossible love with language full of passion and power. The story is of the 73-year-old Goethe – an author so famous that his servant auctions off snippets of his hair – who has fallen in love with the 19-year-old Ulrike von Levetzow. The setting is Marienbad, 1823. The two exchange glances, then words – they kiss the Goethian way: Kissing is not about the mouths or the lips, it’s about the souls. “Thus was his condition: Ulrike or nothing.” But Goethe’s age catches up with him and in a dramatic series of events he finds himself torn between hope and despair. This is when he composes his “Marienbad Elegy.”

08.04.2009 - J.R. Moehringer

J.R. Moehringer (U.S.A.) is a journalist and winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize. In 2005 his autobiographical novel Tender Bar was published and subsequently became a highly praised bestseller. Moehringer grew up in the local bar under the watchful eye of a number of surrogate fathers in the blatant absence of his own. This memoir reads as a coming of age novel which recounts the first beer, learning how to be cool, learning that you don’t die of a broken heart and that dreams can come true if you really fight for them. Moehringer will be interviewed by writer and journalist Arjan Visser.


chloe high-res CREDIT- Phillipa Horan.jpg

02.04.2009 - Chloe Aridjis

Chloe Aridjis’ (U.S.A.) first novel Book of Clouds is like a tour of Berlin, told with humor and compassion. The book paints an accurate picture of the city and its cafés and packed metros where Hitler appears dressed as an old woman and where you can find a former Gestapo bowling-alley underground. The line between fiction and non-fiction becomes increasingly more vague. An unforgettable novel about a young woman adrift in Berlin where radical meetings can lead to romance and violence.


Daniel Kehlmann

26.03.2009 - Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann (Austria) is often referred to as the wonderchild of German literature. His debut was published at the age of 22 and since then he has written 7 novels. His novel Die vermessung der Welt  [Measuring the World] was hugely successful; available in 40 languages and sold more than 1,5 million copies.

In his latest book Ruhm [ i.e. Fame] multiple stories are artfully woven in a clever game of fact and fiction, truth and illusion. In Ruhm Kehlmann describes the ways in which people lose their way, be it on purpose or by accident. Kehlmann will be interviewed in German by Joachim Umlauf, director of the Goethe Institute.


Belgie, st Niklaas 9 mei 2013 Rudi Rotthier, auteur Foto: Merlijn Doomernik

07.03.2009 - Redmond O’Hanlon, Rudi Rotthier

Redmond O’Hanlon & Rudi Rotthier are our guests at the very first BorderKitchen in Antwerp. Both writers are fascinated by Darwin’s theories and have travelled extensively. In the summer of 2008 they met in Oxford for a series of conversations which resulted in the book God, Darwin and Nature; a logical and yet unusual product of these shared conversations.

Redmond O’Hanlon is an adventurer and author of travel literature. His books are about his journeys into some of the most desolate and remote jungles of the world and his search for species and cultures on the brink of extinction. His writing style is full of adventure and humour.

Rudi Rotthier is a journalist by trade. Following the events of 9/11 he spent thirteen months travelling through various muslim countries and wrote the award-winning book De Koranroute.


- 2008 -

20.11.2008 - Dexter Filkins

Dexter Filkins (U.S.A.) is one of the best journalists of his generation. He was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize during his time working as a correspondent in Afghnaistan for The New York Times. Two years later his journalistic integrity and investigative reports were crowned with the George Polk Award. In his book The Forever War Filkins depicts the grim reality, the craziness and the chaos of the war and vividly illustrates what’s really going on in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

02.10.2008 - Jan Siebelink

One of the biggest names in Dutch literature at the moment, Jan Siebelink is a household name since his semi-autobiographical novel Knielen op een bed violen [kneeling on a bed of pansies](2005).
A story about a religiously fanatical father who overshadowed his son’s youth. The story appealed to an incredibly wide and and diverse audience. Now, a good three years later he presents his latest novel: Suezkade. The official presentation of this book will take place in Amsterdam but how fitting to have this preview at BorderKitchen on the Weimarstraat, located just around the corner from the Suezkade. Siebelink is not only master of captivating the reader through his writing, he can also tell a good story in person.

In 2008 more than 500.000 copies of Knielen op een bed violen were sold.


25.09.2008 -

05.09.2008 - Peter Carey

Australian author Peter Carey is a two-time Booker Prize winner and was awarded the prestigious prize for his novels Oscar and Lucinda (1988) and True History of the Kelly Gang (2001). . Carey Carey’s oeuvre consists of ten novels, as well as being a zealous short story writer. He also collaborated with Wim Wenders on the film script Until the end of the World (1992). His most recent novel His Illegal Self (2008) is about the search for identity and a young woman’s love for an unusual boy.

03.06.2008 - Barbara Voors

Barbara Voors (Sweden) was born as the daughter of a Swedish mother and Dutch father. In 1995 she had a literary hit in the Netherlands with the novel Zusje van me [Syster min]. This is the story of Saskia whose life is still heavily influenced by her twin sister who simply disappeared one day. The general public was impressed by Voors’ talent : Zusje van me sold 100,000 copies. Her latest novel Dooi can reckon on an equally enthusiastic reception since Voors has been positioned in the tradition of contemporary Scandinavian storytellers. Barbara Voors will be interviewed by Liddie Austin, journalist and editor of Red magazine.

29.05.2008 - Samantha Power

Academic, journalist and author Samantha Power (Ireland) was one of Barack Obama’s senior advisers(until resigning for controversial remarks she made about Hillary Clinton). She leads the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy at Harvard university. The Irish-American author will be interviewed about her book Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008). The book is about Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Special Representative in Iraq who was killed in the Canal Hotel bombing in Baghdad in 2003. Based on his life Chasing the Flame tells the history of the UN and the dilemmas that follow the organisation and its employees. In 2004 Power was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 top scientists and thinkers of that year.

26.05.2008 - Richard Mason

Since acquiring a lucrative publishing deal for his debut novel The Drowning People (1999) British author Richard Mason (1978) became something of a hype. His British publisher acquired the debut when Mason was only nineteen years old, and speculation about the exact amount of the advance even made it to BBC’s Newsnight. The book did extremely well: 6 million copies were sold in 120 countries countries and it was translated into 22 languages.  A large sum of the profits of this successful debut was donated to the Kay Mason Foundation (named after his deceased sister), a fund which supports disadvantaged South African children and provides them with good education. Mason himself was born in South Africa and spent his childhood there and this love for South Africa becomes evident in his latest novel The Lighted Rooms (2008), a story about history, loyalty and family.

10.02.2008 - Aharon Appelfeld

Aharon Appelfeld (Israel) was born in the Ukraine. He garnered global recognition with the novels Badenheim 1939 and Tzili. In 1998 at the request of The New Yorker Appelfeld returned to his birthplace for the first time to write an article. The article grew into The Story of a Life: A Memoir, a book describing Appelfelds life. When Appelfeld was seven years old his childhood abruptly ended when his mother was killed by the Nazis and he was deported along with his father to a concentration camp. He was reunited with his father after finding his name on a the Jewish Agency List in 1946. The reunion was so emotional that Appelfeld has never been able to write about it.

- 2007 -

11.12.2007 - Jeanette Winterson

The Stone Gods is Jeanette WInterson’s latest novel. This poetical novel is a critique of contemporary society. It is both a timeless love story and a classic science fiction story. Winterson debuted in 1985 with Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, which was awarded the Whitbread Prize for best First Novel and the E.M. Forster Award.

23.11.2007 - Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie is one of the great authors of our time. He has written twelve novels, one collection of stories and four nonfiction works, and is one of our most influential thinkers. He was born in Bombay in 1947 and debuted in 1975 with Grimus. He was awarded the Man Booker Prize for his second novel Midnight’s Children in 1981; this novel was also named the ‘Booker of Bookers’ in 1993, the prize for the best novel ever to win the Booker prize. Other highlights from his oeuvre include The Satanic Verses (1988) The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995; Whitbread award) and The Enchantress of Florence (2008). This fall Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights was published, Blending history, mythology and a timeless love story. Rushdie’s novel is a lush, richly layered story in which our world has been plunged into an age of unreason, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is a breathtaking achievement and an enduring testament to the power of storytelling.

16.10.2007 - Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is geboren in North Carolina en woonde achtereenvolgens in Nairobi, Bangkok en Belfast. Tegenwoordig woont ze in Londen. In 2005 won zij de prestigieuze, exclusief voor vrouwelijke auteurs bestemde, Orange Prize voor haar controversiële roman We Need to Talk about Kevin. Daarin komt de verschrikkelijke vraag aan de orde: ligt het aan de opvoeding of aan de genen, als je eigen kind een moordenaar blijkt te zijn? In De wereld na zijn verjaardag vertelt Lionel Shriver opnieuw een aangrijpend verhaal, en werkt ze aan het einde twee opties voor haar personage uit: vreemdgaan of niet.

20.09.2007 - Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. He lives in Berkely, California and is married to author Ayelet Waldman. Chabon has been our guest once before, when he visited us at BorderKitchen to talk about his book The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, about a mind experiment in the fictional American Jewish state Alaska. At Crossing Border he will be our guest once again. Chabon’s new book conjures up a lot of nostalgia, love and music, written as only a great and original author can. Telegraph Avenue tells of the record store Brokeland Records which has to be saved from destruction, and about the two friends that run it and their families.

09.05.2007 - Edward St. Aubyn

De Britse schrijver Edward St Aubyn vertelt over zijn boek Moedermelk (Mother’s Milk).
Moedermelk is een bijtend grappig geschreven familieportret dat de voortdurend veranderende banden tussen moeders, zoons en echtgenoten onder de loep neemt. In een prachtige en wrange stijl, vergelijkbaar met die van Evelyn Waugh en John Updike, ontleedt St. Aubyn in Moedermelk de hel van kinderen opvoeden, huwelijk, overspel en euthanasie en toont zijn meesterlijke vermogen de meest verschrikkelijke emotionele pijn te combineren met een meesterlijk gevoel voor humor.

19.03.2007 - Ingo Schulze

21.02.2007 - Claire Castillon

- 2006 -

16.12.2006 - Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes, geboren in Panama, is een van de grootste schrijvers die Mexico ooit heeft voortgebracht. Hij schreef een reeks beeldende romans, waarvan De dood van Artemio Cruz en De jaren met Laura Díaz de bekendste zijn.
Fuentes werkte onder meer als ambassadeur in Parijs en als hoogleraar aan Harvard. Zijn werk werd bekroond met de Cervantesprijs en in 2006 met de Freedom Award, die wordt toegekend aan personen die op mondiaal niveau een substantiële, moedige en persoonlijke bijdrage hebben geleverd aan de vrijheid in de wereld. Vorig jaar kwam van Fuentes De stoel met de adelaar uit. Een ‘Schitterende roman over een machtsspel in brieven’ De Volkskrant.

Onlangs verscheen van Fuentes Onrustig gezelschap, een bundel met zes spannende verhalen. De horrorverhalen beginnen alsof er niets aan de hand is, maar ze worden steeds onwerkelijker. Onrustig gezelschap is een meesterlijke, bloedstollende verhalenbundel van een groot schrijver, die samen met Octavio Paz, García Márquez, Onetti, Vargas Llosa en Borges tot de belangrijkste auteurs van Latijns-Amerika behoort.

13.10.2006 - Guillermo Arriaga

De Mexicaanse schrijver Guillermo Arriaga brak in 2001 door met het script voor de film Amores Perros. Daarna volgden nog drie grote films die opvielen vanwege het sterke verhaal; 21 Grams, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada en de Gouden Palm winnaar 2006 Babel. Typerend voor zijn werk is de non-lineaire vertelstructuur, die de kijker dwingt tot zoeken en denken. Omdat hij  meerdere verhaallijnen door elkaar vlecht kan hij in één verhaal uiteenlopende kwesties verwerken. Arriaga is gefascineerd door de menselijke natuur, zijn films behelzen schuld, boete, dood, eenzaamheid. Hij slaagt erin om zonder pretenties te zijn, de kijker te overvoeden of existentiële levensvragen te behandelen.
Tijdens de BorderKitchen zal hij vertellen over zijn nieuwe boek, El búfalo de la noche, dat in november uitkomt onder de titel Nachtbuffel.

Sana Valiulina foto: Frank Ruiter

12.10.2006 - Jens Christian Grøndahl, Sana Valiulina

Jens Christian Grøndahl is een van de succesvolste Deense auteurs van dit moment. Het werk van Grøndahl is in zestien talen vertaald, en omvat onder andere Stilte in Oktober, Lucca, Indian Summer, Hartslag, Veranderend licht en Piazza Bucarest. Grøndahl wordt geprezen om zijn minimalistische portretten en fijne schrijfstijl. Deze maand verschijnt Rode Handen, een verhaal over een vrouw die in Duitsland verwikkeld raakte bij de Rote Armee Fraktion. Rode Handen is een indrukwekkende roman over de macht die het verleden op ons kan uitoefenen.

Sana Valiulina is geboren in Estland en studeert filologie en Noors in Moskou. Ze leert daar haar huidige Nederlandse echtgenoot kennen en voor hem verhuist ze in 1989 naar Amsterdam. Daar schrijft ze – in het Nederlands – haar eerste roman Het kruis en later de novellenbundel Vanuit nergens met liefde. Dit voorjaar betekent de magistrale roman Didar en Faroek haar grote literaire doorbraak. In het boek fictionaliseert ze de levensgeschiedenis van haar ouders; het is zowel een niet mis te verstane afrekening met de Sovjet-dictatuur van Stalin als een ‘lichte’ roman over het geloof in menselijkheid en de valkuilen van de liefde.


01.06.2006 - Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar werd geboren in New York uit Libische ouders, en leefde in Tripoli, Caïro en Parijs voordat Londen vanaf 1988 zijn thuis werd. Zijn literaire debuut Niemandsland (No One In The World) heeft al voor verschijning een hoge vlucht genomen. De Britse uitgeverij Viking bespaarde kosten noch moeite om zich van de rechten te verzekeren, en het boek werd in dertien talen vertaald. Nederland heeft de wereldprimeur: de roman zal begin mei bij Meulenhoff verschijnen. Het verhaal neemt de lezer mee naar het broeierige Tripoli van de late jaren zeventig, waar de negenjarige Suleiman opgroeit onder het dictatorschap van Khaddaffi. De gruwelen van dit bewind nemen concrete vormen voor hem aan als de vader van zijn beste vriend opgepakt wordt en zijn executie iets later op televisie te zien is. Dan verdwijnt ook zijn eigen vader, ziet hij zijn moeder in paniek diens boeken verbranden en nemen de gebeurtenissen een allesbepalende wending. Niemandsland is een gevoelige, beeldende en meeslepende Bildungsroman, die door J.M. Coetzee omschreven werd als ‘a poignant story of a child exposed too early to the brutalities of Libyan politics’.

09.03.2006 - Alessandro Piperno, L.H. Wiener

Alessandro Piperno woont en werkt in Rome, waar hij Frans doceert aan de universiteit. Met de slechtste bedoelingen (Con le peggiori intenzioni ) is een opmerkelijke debuutroman, die in Italië maandenlang in de bestsellerlijsten heeft gestaan. Piperno schetst een meedogenloos portret van de deels joodse, deels katholieke familie Sonnino, tegen de achtergrond van de tweede helft van de twintigste eeuw. Een rake, ironische en soms treurige schets van verholen antisemitisme in de hogere bourgeois kringen van Rome.

L.H. Wiener schreef twaalf boeken, merendeels verhalenbundels. Ook schreef hij de succesvolle, met de F. Bordewijk-prijs bekroonde roman Nestor, en de Verzamelde verhalen, Deel 1 en Deel 2. Onlangs verscheen De verering van Quirina T., hierin raakt Victor van Gigch, sinds dertig jaar leraar aan het Laurens Coster Gymnasium te Haarlem, ondanks verwoede pogingen om aan zichzelf het tegendeel te bewijzen in de ban van Quirina T., een zestienjarige leerlinge die de school verliet, maar van het afscheid nemen geen genoeg kan krijgen.

16.02.2006 - DBC Pierre

DBC Pierre, geboren in Australië, opgegroeid in Mexico en later woonachtig in Ierland, heeft een bewogen leven gehad. Nadat hij op zestienjarige leeftijd toegang krijgt tot het fortuin van zijn vader gaat het snel bergafwaarts. Gokken, zwendel, drank- en drugsmisbruik houden hem tot in de dertig verslaafd en arm. De omkeer komt na afkicken, en na het schrijven van Vernon God Little dat in 2003 de Man Booker Prize. DBC Pierre trad dat jaar met veel succes op in Crossing Border. Tijdens BorderKitchen zal de schrijver voor het eerst in het openbaar spreken over zijn nieuwe boek Ludmilla’s Gebroken Engels dat begin maart wereldwijd verschijnt. Ludmilla’s Gebroken Engels is een heftig boek vol sarcastische humor, sociale satire en seksuele waanzin.

- 2005 -

18.09.2005 - Amos Oz

Amos Oz (Jeruzalem) wordt wereldwijd gezien als een van de grootste hedendaagse schrijvers en hij is een belangrijk kandidaat voor de Nobelprijs. Oz is naar aanleiding van de verschijning van de Nederlandse vertaling van zijn nieuwste boek Een verhaal van liefde en duisternis enkele dagen in Nederland.

Amos Oz groeit op als enig kind van een afstandelijke, rationele vader en een romantische, depressieve moeder, in een kleine, volgepakte woning, waar boeken de hoofdbewoners zijn. Ook hij neemt zijn toevlucht tot de wereld van de boeken en observeert zijn familieleden als tragikomische personages uit het werk van Tsjechov en Tolstoj. Als hij twaalf is, pleegt zijn moeder zelfmoord. Deze dramatische gebeurtenis tekent zijn verdere leven.
Een verhaal van liefde en duisternis is een fenomenaal geschreven roman, vol prachtige metaforen, humor en tederheid. Op meesterlijke wijze vervlecht Amos Oz het verhaal van zijn persoonlijke leven met honderdtwintig jaar familiegeschiedenis, die begint in Odessa en via Polen en Praag eindigt in het door vluchtelingen, pioniers en Holocaust-overlevenden bevolkte Israël.

Een verhaal van liefde en duisternis is een groots en fabelachtig boek over een man, een familie en een natie, verwikkeld in een pijnlijke geschiedenis.


09.06.2005 - Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer werd in 1977 geboren en studeerde filosofie aan Princeton. Hij is de samensteller van de anthologie A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by the Work of Joseph Cornell. In april 2002 verscheen Alles is verlicht, zijn debuutroman, nu wereldwijd vertaald. In zijn nieuwe boek Extreem Luid & Ongelooflijk Dichtbij is de hoofdpersoon Oskar Schell uitvinder, sieradenontwerper, amateurentomoloog, francofiel, slagwerker, verwoed schrijver van fanmail, pacifist, archeoloog van Central Park, romanticus, Groot Ontdekkingsreiziger, juwelier, acteur, inconsequent veganist, verzamelaar van: zeldzame munten, vlinders die een natuurlijke dood zijn gestorven, Beatles-spullen, miniatuurcactussen en halfedelstenen. Hij is negen jaar.

Oskar heeft zijn vader verloren bij de aanslagen op het WTC in New York. In zijn vaders kledingkast vindt Oskar een vaas, en wanneer hij die per ongeluk laat vallen ontdekt hij een vreemd uitziende sleutel. Dan begint de jonge Oskar een zoektocht die hem door de stad New York zal voeren, in een poging betekenis te geven aan de zinloze dood van zijn vader.

- 2004 -

12.11.2004 - Ruth Rendell

Over Ruth Rendell valt niet te twisten, iedereen lijkt het eens te zijn: ze is de beste misdaadschrijfster ter wereld.

‘Zijn er wel vrouwelijke thrillerauteurs die net zo goed, of bijna even goed, schrijven als Ruth Rendell? Je hebt immers
‘Ruth Rendell zette met haar boeken de psychologische thriller voor het eerst overtuigend op de kaart. Dat geldt niet alleen voor haar romans met de politiemannen Wexford en Burden in de hoofdrol, maar ook voor haar op zich staande verhalen. In haar werk laat ze de lezer kennismaken met de duistere plekken van de menselijke geest en ze is een meester in de misleiding. Terecht wordt zij de nieuwe koningin van de misdaad genoemd.’ – De Telegraaf


Jerry B [] Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 6:38 PM To: Siv KvarekvŒl Siri Hustvedt photos by Jerry Bauer

13.05.2004 - Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt

05.03.2004 - Tomas Lieske, Adriaan Jaeggi, Menno Wigman

Op 6 maart aanstaande opent de Nederlandse ambassade in Berlijn (ontwerp Rem Koolhaas) haar deuren met Berlijnse een speciale Duitstalige BorderKitchen.  De avond ervoor is de Nederlandstalige versie van dit bijzondere programma in het kader van Den Haag 2004, Puur Cultuur, ook in Den Haag te zien. Het programma omvat de auteurs Tomas Lieske, Adriaan Jaeggi en Menno Wigman. De film Lapje Grond van Ben van Lieshout wordt vertoond. Deze film laat een aantal Nederlandse dichters (o.a. Rutger Kopland, Gerrit Kouwenaar) zien die voorlezen in een decor van Nederlandse volkstuinen. De muzikant Thé Lau (The Scéne) zingt en leest voor.


- 2003 -

01.06.2003 - Meir Shalev

About is a new novel with the great title ‘My Russian grandmother and her American vacuum cleaner’: the true and unbelievable, funny and sad story of the special relationships between the author’s grandmother and the vacuum cleaner (called and pronounced as a ‘sveeeeperr’ in this book) her brother-in-law sent her from America.
The ‘sveeeeperr’ is a major persona in this story, both because of its sudden and miraculous appearance and because of its effect on the plot and the characters. Shalev uses this vacuum cleaner as a basis for his story about an entire family and its history. His gaze is loving, kind and sometimes admiring. It is also a tale of a family that loves words and good stories. The reader learns about Shalev’s poetic and prosaic world. With this novel he has put together a delightful memoir.

Meir Shalev (1948, Israel), Israel’s first moshav and is one of Israel’s most celebrated novelists. His books have been translated into over 20 languages and have been bestsellers in Israel, Italy, Holland and Germany. Meir Shalev is also a columnist with the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot. Shalev  is the recipient of The Prime Minister’s Prize (Israel), The Chiavari (Italy), The Juliet Club Prize (Italy), The Entholomogical Prize (Israel), The Wizo Prize in France, Israel and Italy, The Brenner Prize of 2006– the highest Israeli literary recognition awarded for his last novel, The pigeon and the boy.


27.05.2003 - T.C. Boyle

On September 3rd T.C. Boyle, one of America’s most important contemporary authors, will visit BorderKitchen. He is in The Netherlands to talk about his new book The Harder They Come which was recently published in Dutch as Wie storm zaait and was received with great enthusiasm in the US and Germany. T. Coraghessan Boyle has 24 books to his name and has won quite a few literary prizes, among which the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best book of the year (World’s End, 1988) and the PEN/Malamud Prize for his short stories. The author will be interviewed by Arjan Visser.

The Harder They Come is about the need for total independence and a thirst for violence, and how these go hand in hand. An analysis of American society ‘that is fraying at the edges’. Boyle knows how to put the finger on the pulse of time like no other.

08.05.2003 - Michel Faber

Michel Faber (1960) was born in The Hague, grew up in Australia and currently lives in Scotland. His debut collection of stories Some Rain Must Fall received critical acclaim and won several awards. Since then, Faber has belonged to the cream of the crop of international modern literature. The first of Faber’s startling novels to be published, Under the Skin, as well as the collection of stories The Fahrenheit Twins also have received a lot of praise. But Faber’s magnum opius was his 2002 publication of The Crimson Petal and the White. A bestseller in the USA, Italy, France, Holland and Belgium, and a steady seller in most other countries.

- 2002 -

09.11.2002 - Christian Kracht, Peter Esterhazy

30.06.2002 - Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq publiceerde essays en poëzie voordat hij zich in 1994 met de roman De wereld als markt en strijd opwierp als de grote belofte van de Franse letteren. Die status bevestigde hij met Elementaire deeltjes, dat hem terecht de faam van groot schrijver bezorgde. Na Lanzarote (2001) verschijnt in 2002 Platform ( Plateforme, au milieu du monde).
Een ontgoochelde veertiger gaat op vakantie naar Thailand. Hij krijgt een relatie met een in alle opzichten ondernemende vrouw, met wie hij een keten opzet in sekstoerisme. Waarom immers de rijke maar seksueel hongerige Westerlingen het misgunnen om hun geld te geven aan de arme maar seksueel zo vaardige Oosterlingen? Helaas, het imperium dat de partners beheren stort in op het moment dat preutse islamieten zich verzetten tegen de prostitutie en een aanslag plegen.