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Parrot Flew Over the IJssel (Papegaai vloog over de IJssel)



Original Language: Dutch | 448 pp. | September 2014

2 Seas Represents: World Translation Rights.

Rights Sold: Colombia (Arango Editores, Spanish for Latin America), Italy (Iperborea), Bosnia (Buybook).

Over 35,000 copies sold!


  • Over one million copies of Kader Abdollah’s books have sold in the Netherlands. His work appears in 27 languages.

In PARROT FLEW OVER THE IJSSEL, four foreign families are each offered a house in a village along the river IJssel. They begin a new life in a new country: the Netherlands. It doesn’t take long until the river, the IJssel Bridge, and the ferry become a part of their identity.

This new novel by Kader Abdollah, takes place in and around the city of Zwolle, especially in four traditional Dutch villages by the river: Zalk, Wilsum, ‘s Heerenbroek and Veecaten, in a landscape that has remained the same for hundreds of years. While the cold is not inviting, the skies are magnificent.

The four families, just as foreign to each other as the country where they live now, realize that they need to continue their journey along the water, the IJssel Bridge and to the city. Will they find a home there?

The Netherlands has undeniably changed over the past 25 years. Newspapers write about it, television cameras follow it, discussions about it move from editorials to living rooms and back again. It is high time for a polyphonic novel such as Parrot Flew Over the IJssel, which depicts the essence of these changes. Kader Abdollah came a quarter of a century ago as a stranger to the Netherlands, but was soon embraced by his new countrymen. It comes as no surprise that this novel makes use of his personal experiences.



Italy (Iperborea)