Griet Op de Beeck was initially a playwright working in theatre for several years before writing major interviews for the weekly Humo and the newspaper De Morgen. In 2013, she finally had the courage to do what she really wanted to do, and made her debut with Vele hemels boven de zevende (Many Heavens Above the Seventh). Her second novel, Kom hier dat ik u kus (Get Over Here and Kiss Me), quickly followed in 2014. Both novels were an incredible success in the Netherlands and Flanders, each selling over 200,000 copies, and film adaptations are in the works. In 2016, Gij nu (Now You) was published, a collection of haphazardly written stories. Op de Beeck is currently working on a piece for the theatre. Her work has been translated into French, German, Czech and other languages.
Get Over Here and Kiss Me
BTB Verlag, 2016
Translated by Isabel Hessel
Original title: Kom hier dat ik u kus (Prometheus, 2014)
Mona is only a little girl when she experiences what no person should ever have to deal with. To cope she thinks: I’ll be brave. And she does so for her father and her mother and Marie.
She grows up and starts working for a large theater director. Then she meets a man. Perhaps everything will be okay, who knows? But then news about her father arrives and the ground collapses beneath her feet.
Get Over Here And Kiss Me is a story about children, and it’s a story about parents. It’s about broken people and what they can do to each other. It’s a story about where responsibility ends and guilt begins. About secrets and solitude. About loss and silence. About the dangers of being too strong. About forgetting and not being able to forget. About turning away and turning toward. About perseverance. About knowing better and about coming together anyway. It’s about daring to save yourself and wondering if that’s even possible. Finally, it’s about love; because that’s all we have, or almost all we have, in the end.
Griet Op de Beeck writes books that have an effect on your organs: lungs skip a breath, stomach knots up, heart leaps. Her characters hit credibly close to home.
'Get Over Here and Kiss Me' is like a film of which you come out together, you’re still speechless for a while, you don’t want to ruin it by blurting out all sorts of opinions, you just look at each other briefly, you squeeze hands and you say: “Good, eh?”