Author: Stapel, Joep

Publication Date:

April 2019



Original language and publisher

Dutch | Meulenhoff

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. Dutch


Debut Novel


Author: Stapel, Joep

  • 2 Seas Represents: World Excl Dutch rights.
  • English sample available


‘A beautiful, stylish debut which testifies a great talent. Joep Stapel has written an accomplished, convincing debut which promises great things for the future.’ **** Alles over boeken en schrijvers

‘A gorgeous book, definitely worth reading.’ — Daan leest, Nauta Bookshop

‘Touching and moviving.’ — Boekenz

‘A promising debut.’ — Kennemer Bookshop

‘’Exciting, well written story.’’ ***** Hebban

A sparkling novel dealing with love, loss, regret and the longing for another life

A road trip to Italy raises doubts about the life path to be chosen

Intricately composed with short, alternating chapters that create a mosaic of life

The debut novel of a literary talent which is know for his publications in magazines and papers like De Gids and NRC Handelsblad

Kaf is thirty-two years old, English teacher and afraid of flying. Together with his best friend and best man he embarks on a road trip to Tuscany where he will marry in the family home of his fiancée. Gabi is waiting for him in the village where she spent all of her summers as a little girl. Meanwhile she takes care of her gravely ill father and seeks comfort with her memories. Their wedding will be a celebration as well as a goodbye.

But when Kaf is delayed and time until the ceremony starts to run out, he is struck with doubt. He thinks about his grandfather, who sailed across the world and started a new life in Japan. He wonders: could I be someone else too?

Kaf is like an arrow pointing towards marriage, but even more like a fan opening up, revealing alternate shapes of a future and of the desires that drive you.

Joep Stapel writes about classical music for NRC Handelsblad and is a literary critic for weblog Tzum. He also works as editor for literary magazine dodo/nododo and De Gids recently published one of his short stories.