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.