Writer. Columnist. Divides his time between his homes in Borgosesia and Louvain.
Paul Baeten Gronda studied Screenwriting at the Luca School of Arts in Brussels. He made his debut in 2008 with Nemen wij dan samen afscheid van de liefde (Let Us Together Say Farewell to Love) about a young man from a dysfunctional family who has gone astray. After his father’s death, he tries to bring his family closer together. The book immediately met with very high praise, resulting in several reprints. His second book, Kentucky, mijn land (Kentucky, My Country, 2009) tells the story of an elderly loner who is confronted with his own limitations. Since 2006, Gronda has been writing a monthly column about New York and American literature in the Flemish newspaper, De Morgen. His fourth book, Straus Park, was published in 2013 and is a cosmopolitan novel dominated by the themes of love, family and betrayal. The translation rights have been sold to Germany, and the German translation will be published in June 2016.
Luchterhand Verlag, 2016
Translated by Marlene Müller-Haas
Original title: Straus Park (De Bezige Bij, 2013)
Amos Grossman and his brothers are the heirs of the wealthy couple Charlotte and Markus Grossman who died in a plane crash. In Straus Park we initially follow Amos’s superficial love affairs. But when art expert Julia F. Dane crosses his path he knows he has met the love of his life. From then on, he only has one goal in life: to win her love. But what Amos doesn’t know and Julia soon finds out is that their respective Jewish grandparents knew each other well. During World War II Charlotte and Markus Grossman escaped to the Netherlands and made friends with a flamboyant Amsterdam native from a family of art collectors. When war broke out, Charlotte embarked on a sexual relationship with an Obersturmführer and became his informant. As a consequence, most of her friends were deported, including the art collector and his family. The story that unfolds is one of art theft, infidelity, betrayal and the instinct for survival. It turns out that hereditary traits resonate for generations. While the men are often brooding souls, the women tend to take the lead.
Passion, betrayal and instinct for survival are the main ingredients of P.B. Gronda’s new novel. (...) A mundane pageturner.