DescriptionWith a sharp and observational eye, Annelies Verbeke takes a funny, imaginative, and perceptive look at the realities and absurdities of human interactions, relationships, and everyday life.
Verbeke matches poetic prose with a cast of intriguing characters and unexpected plot twists. Our protagonist is Alphonse, a Senegalese immigrant who uproots his life in Brussels to become a handyman in a rural district in Flanders. Likable and charismatic, people cannot help but reveal their secrets, desires, and unexpected dreams to him. In her typically astute style, Verbeke weaves a vivid and thought-provoking tale of contemporary life, subtly touching upon timely themes such as refugees and racism.
Thirty Days is a deeply moving story about love, outsiders, and the human need to connect, compellingly translated from the Dutch by Liz Waters.
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About the AuthorAnnelies Verbeke is a writer of novels, short stories and essays. She is also a screenwriter, playwright and magazine and newspaper columnist. She made her literary debut in 2003 with the much-acclaimed novel Sleep! which sold over 75,000 copies. Thirty Days was the winner of the F. Bordewijk Prize for Best Novel, the NRC Book Award for Best Dutch-language Novel of the Year and the Opzij Literature Prize. Verbeke's books have been translated in 24 countries.
"While the novel Thirty Days by Annelies Verbeke deals with these very contemporary, divisive themes of immigration, displacement, racism, and the rise of hate groups, it is not an overtly political novel, but an artful examination of the rich, interior life of one Senegalese immigrant, living in Belgium." --The Literary Review
"Verbeke has constructed an entire life in 30 days (the chapters are numbered as such), and the result is nothing less than extraordinary." --The Gazette
"There is a fair amount of humor in this novel--the humor and absurdity of day to day life--and even though it's a translation, it does come through in bursts."--Paul LaRosa, New York Journal of Books
"Thirty Days is a slice of life so compelling and warm that I stayed up far too late to finish it." --Kate MacDonald
"This wry Belgian writer takes a sharp, very human look at how lives meander and collide...For all the serious issues it explores, it is also very funny and astute. It is not only a European book, it is a fearless exposé of the world we live in and how we live...Unhappy marriages, deceptions, violent crime and, above all, the human need to connect at some or any level. Verbeke has written a bold, busy, textured novel. Read it once and you may well read it twice." --Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
"Thirty Days is a novel about goodness and compassion. The book finds the perfect balance between sensitivity and humour, hopefulness and criticism, cheer and despair." --Flanders Literature
"Verbeke has a wonderful knack of bringing characters vividly to life in few expertly chosen evocative words, through gesture, knowing looks and clever metaphors." --The Big Issue
"Annelies Verbeke is a literary phenomenon" --Edinburgh Book Festival
"Dutch readers voted this their favourite novel of 2015, and Liz Waters's elegant translation conveys the warmth and gentle humour of Alphonse's initial interactions with the local people, the chilly distrust that lurks under the surface and the complexity of his relationship with Cat." --The Herald Scotland