Marjolijn Hof

© Otto Koetje
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Marjolijn Hof

1956, Amsterdam
Writes children’s books. Always knew that she wanted to write. Loves Iceland.

As a child Marjolijn Hof made illustrated storybooks, although she did so in according to her own individual ideas, always resulting in something other than what was intended. Once her schooldays were over, she went through a period of uncertainty, eventually opting for librarianship and information studies, to become a children’s librarian. During that time she was already writing stories and poems but not yet publishing. In 1999 she made her debut with De bloem van de buurt [Flower of the Neighbourhood]. In 2006 this was followed by her first book for primary school children, Een kleine kans [Against the Odds], which was awarded the Gouden Uil children’s literature prize, the Gouden Uil young readers’ prize and the Gouden Griffel. In 2011 the book was filmed under the title Patatje Oorlog [War Chips]. She received the Woutertje Pieterse Prize for her book De regels van drie [The Rules of Three] (2013). Her books have been translated into more than thirteen languages.

Links   Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   Aladin Verlag   Beltz & Gelberg   Querido Kinderboek

Recently translated into German

The Rules of Three
Aladin Verlag, 2015
Translated by Meike Blatnik
Original title: De regels van drie (Querido, 2013)

Twan and his twin sister Linde travel to Iceland with their mum and grandma. That’s where Grandpa Kas lives. He’s Grandma’s dad, which makes him Twan and Linde’s great-grandpa. Mum and Grandma think that he’s no longer capable of taking care of himself and that he should come back to the Netherlands with them. It’s not that easy, though, because Grandpa Kas has secretly devised an escape plan. He’s going to head off into the mountains! And he asks Twan to help him. Twan gives him some survival tips, but is that the right thing to do? Together with Linde, he has to make a choice: to help Grandpa Kas or to give away his secret.

The Rules of Three [German title: Opi Kas, die Zimtziegen und ich] was written from a log cabin on the coast of Iceland, in the middle of winter – ideal for a Children’s book, which takes place on Iceland, and tells the story of a Dutch twinbrother and sister, who together with their mother, try to persuade their great-grandfather to come to Holland and live in a retirement home. This book received the Woutertje Pieterse Prijs in the Spring of 2014, which consists of 15.000 euro. The price confirms Hof’s status as one of the best authors of Dutch children’s literature. After Guus Kuijer (ALMA award winner 2012) there is no author who creates such strong images, and wide range of emotions, with so little words.
Heartwarming, humorous, linguistic, slightly absurd, but always close to reality.

De Groene Amsterdammer

Marjolijn Hof is capable of presenting a world full of emotion by using a seemingly innocuous sentence.

NRC Handelsblad