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Grand Hotel Europe (Grand Hotel Europa)



Original Language: Dutch | 552 pp. | December 2018

2 Seas Represents: French and Portuguese rights.

Rights sold: Italy (Nutrimenti), Macedonia (Antolog), Spain (Acantilado, in a pre-empt), Germany (Piper, in a pre-empt), Norway (Gyldendal, in a pre-empt), USA (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, in a pre-empt), Portugal (Porto Editora), UK (4th Estate, at auction), Croatia (offer received), France (Presses de la Cité/Feux Croisés, at auction).

English sample available

Selected in the Ten Books from Holland brochure

Over 70,000 copies sold. In the Top 13 of the Bestsellers list.

Shortlisted for the Libris Literature Prize 2019

De Arbeiderspers 


Grand Hotel Europe does not shy away from anything. It wants to impress, and it impresses. It is that big-bigger-biggest grip which makes the novel into an astounding masterpiece. It is also a wonderful book, which you will read with increasingly feverish eagerness. Pfeiffer captures the zeitgeist and serves it up irresistibly. He wrote the novel of the year. — NRC Handelsblad

A masterpiece: grandiose style, brilliant and rich. — Trouw

Grand Hotel Europe is not only an overwhelming reading experience, but Pfeijffer also gives you lots of food for thought. Who else in contemporary Dutch literature could do what he does, to turn up the heat on our zeitgeist in such a great way and to thumb the nose at all those timid, tiny novels full of first world problems? — De Morgen

Do not hesitate to call Grand Hotel Europe a pageturner. The most admirable thing about the novel is Pfeijffer’s fascination with these subjects, his involvement. […] Grand Hotel Europe is not only an reflection on our identity, but also a contribution to its continuation. — de Volkskrant

Every sentence in Grand Hotel Europe is dipped in both homesickness and trepidation. — De Standaard

In spite of the loaded subject, his great European novel is a pageturner. — De Tijd

You should put Grand Hotel Europe by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer on the shelf next to Europe books by Thomas Mann and Harry Mulisch. Rarely have we read a novel that ingeniously links a tragic but beautiful love story with serious, but never dull, often witty reflections on the phenomenon that is Europe. […] Grand Hotel Europe is a love letter to an old beloved, a dead-tired but stunning continent. —De Limburger

With the virtuosic gesture with which Pfeijffer tends to take on his versatile and coquettish narratives, and with the graceful elegance of his sentences, he wrote both a novel and a reflection on the paradoxes of tourism and migration, and on the longing for history that is innate to Europe. — Klara Radio

Whether he writes about refugees, mass tourism, globalization, selfies or Caravaggio: not only what Pfeijffer tells us, but also his mastery of language and the pleasure that radiates from it, keeps you under a spell until the final page. As far as we are concerned the novel of 2018 at the last minute. —Het Laatste Nieuws

Un-Dutch good. In a word: fantastisch, grandiose, magnificent, splendid, sublime, superbe, wonderful. —TZUM

A spectacle. — De Leeuwarder Courant

A writer takes residence in the illustrious but decaying Grand Hotel Europe, to think about where things went wrong with Clio, with whom he fell in love in Genoa and moved to Venice. He reconstructs a compelling story of love in times of mass tourism, about their trips to Malta, Palmaria, Portovenere and the Cinque Terre and their thrilling search for the last painting of Caravaggio. Meanwhile, he becomes fascinated by the mysteries of Grand Hotel Europe and gets more and more involved with the memorable characters who inhabit it, and who seem to come from a more elegant time. All the while, globalization seems to be grabbing hold even on this place frozen in time.

Grand Hotel Europe is Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s masterly novel on the old continent, where so much history resides that there is no place left for a future and where the most realistic future perspectives are offered in the form of exploiting the past in the shape of tourism. It is a theatrical and lyrical book about European identity, nostalgia to the end of an era. It is, how troubling it may be, his best book yet.

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer (1968) writes novels, stories, poems, columns, essays, theatre plays and lyrics. He has lived and worked in Genoa for many years. His novel Rupert was translated into English and published by Open Letter in 2009. He won the Libris Literature prize in 2014 for his novel La Superba (over 80,000 copies sold in the Netherlands alone), which is currently being adapted into a film by Moving Dreams/FATT Productions. In 2017 his novel Peachez, A Romance was published. He is highly praised for both his poetry and his novels.