Original title: Het lam
You have written a beautiful book. Other will tell you the same. — Cees Nooteboom, internationally well-known Dutch author
Clarissa’s son, Joris, is a toddler when he marvels at a dead lamb left in the market square. How is it possible that something so young can die? Not long after, Joris pees blood. Powerless, Clarissa sees how her son undergoes gruelling treatments and loses his rosy cheeks and blonde hair. It changes her perception of the world around her; tacitly and gradually, all color and life disappear, all that remains is decay and finiteness.
In an attempt to defeat fate, Clarissa forces herself into vitality and life. She indulges in classical painting and every day, she and Joris go to the woods. To convince Joris and herself that not all wounded lambs die, they travel to Ghent to see the Ghent Altarpiece (or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb) by the Van Eyck brothers.
Pure and without the slightest trace of sentimentality, Jannie Regnerus describes how a mother tries to resist the suffering that affects her child. It is the unusual combination of images, associations and language that transforms this small novel into great literature.
- German sample available
- Nominated for the Opzij Literature Prize
- Longlisted for the Libris Literature Prize