Gideon Samson

© Chris van Houts
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Gideon Samson

1985, The Hague
Children’s book author. Has won many prizes. Loves football.

Gideon Samson is one of the most talented children’s book authors in the Netherlands. He made his debut in 2007 with Niks Zeggen! (Don’t Say a Word!), for which he immediately won a prestigious literary prize. The jury report said the following about the award-winning Zwarte Zwaan (Black Swan, 2012): ‘Black Swan is everything all at once: a book about bullying, a psychological thriller but most of all, a dark novel, through and through. It is current and urgent at the same time.’ Overspoeld (Washed Away), about the tsunami in Southeast Asia, followed in 2014. Written under the pseudonym Menno Fernandes, De scheids (The Ref), is about his experiences as an amateur football referee.
In 2014, Samson was asked to hold the annual Annie M.G. Schmidt lecture, where he defended the hypothesis that a children’s book can only be considered good if it is also appreciated by adults.
Samson’s books have been published in Spanish, Catalan, Danish and German.

Links   Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   Leopold   Gerstenberg   Querido Kinderboek   Oetinger

Recently translated into German

Gerstenberg Verlag, 2016
Translated by Rolf Erdorf
Original title: Overspoeld (Querido, 2014)

The final exams are over and Pieter wants to travel and see the world. He joins a charitable organization and ends up in Sri Lanka, teaching English to blind and deaf children. But what should be a wonderful, valuable experience turns into a nightmare when he travels to the seaside for a few days during the Christmas holidays. A devastating tidal wave engulfs the Sri Lankan coast.

True story about the tsunami and coming to terms with the experience.

One of the best, most compelling instalments from the Slash series. [...] What makes it so good is that it not only provides a moving report of the disaster, but also paints a sensitive, lifelike portrait of a student.


'Flutlicht' is a believable, true-to-life and cleverly written novel, and this is why it is with great pleasure that the jury awards it the Gouden Lijst 2015 for work originally written in Dutch.

Gouden Lijst 2015 jury report