Kris Van Steenberge made his debut in 2013 with the novel Woesten [German title: Verlangen]. The story takes place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was his grandfather’s stories about the Great War that served as inspiration for his debut. Woesten met with wild enthusiasm immediately, from both the press and general public in the Netherlands and Flanders. The book won several prizes, and the film rights have already been sold. His second novel, Blindelings (Blindly), will be published in September 2016. The German translation of Woesten will also be published in 2016, and the Spanish and Afrikaans translations in 2017.
Klett-Cotta Verlag, 2016
Translated by Waltraud Hüsmert
Original title: Woesten (Vrijdag, 2013)
This powerful debut by Kris Van Steenberge takes us to the Flemish clay as the nineteenth century is drawing to a close. In the village of Woesten, Elisabeth, the blacksmith’s daughter, is getting married to young doctor Guillaume Duponselle. But theirs is not a blessed union. When Elisabeth gives birth to twins eight months later, the first-born is a beautiful son, Valentijn. But the second child is so badly deformed that Guillaume refuses to name him. And yet, against all expectations, Nameless remains alive. Making his father and the other villagers shudder because of his appearance, the little boy is forced to go through life covered by a veil.