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Original Language: Dutch | 224 pp. | November 2015

2 Seas Represents: World Excl Dutch

Rights sold: Germany (Btb/Luchterhand) 

English sample available


‘Wanderland offers a blend of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections and Thomas Vinterberg’s movie Festen (The Celebration). A major achievement.’**** De Morgen

‘An important novel – a well-balanced, melancholic odyssey. Paul Baeten Gronda has written his best work yet.’ De Standaard

‘Wanderland is a novel you will be simply unable to put down.’ Gazet van Antwerpen

‘Paul Baeten Gronda grabs you by the throat and he won’t let go. A great novel.’ Cutting Edge

‘Gronda writes clear prose, melancholy, but seasoned with a slight irony that alleviates the weight. His sentences are bare and confident. Without any form of sensationalism, he succeeds in making his main character’s feeling of being lost palpable.’ Haarlems Dagblad

‘One of the best novels I’ve read in a long time.’ Tom Lenaerts, VRT

It is three days before a major exhibition of his work in Venice when, after many years, the young, successful painter Igor Nast receives a call from his half-brother, summoning him to Switzerland, to his father’s deathbed. A father whom, as a child, he saw walk out and of whom, by his own admission, he cherishes not a single memory. In his father’s house, Igor meets his estranged family. His half brothers and sisters, his exceptional cousin. They are waiting for the father to die: an awkward situation for a family that is particularly good at keeping a distance.

Meanwhile, Igor Nast also looks back at the steep climb of his artistic career and how he alone knows that it is overshadowed by the disappearance of a loved one, Charlie Days, from his life. Since then, now a thousand days ago, Igor has touched neither brush nor canvas.

Igor is literally all alone in the world: no lover, his younger sister killed in an accident, his mother dead, his father dying, estranged from his family. Everything appears to be going as feared, until father Nast turns out to have one last big surprise up his sleeve. He talks Igor into sneaking off together to where he left the one real love in his life, Nova Gorica in Slovenia. There, they spend the last few days, in an attempt at rapprochement.

Wanderland shows the close connection between love and loneliness. It is an evocative novel, written in subtle prose with an intriguing suggestiveness. It is melancholy, but not heavy, and succeeds in using short scenes to delicately broach such great themes as love, displacement and loss.