Summer Brother

(Author) (Translator)
Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
World Editions
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
JAAP ROBBEN is a poet, playwright, performer, and acclaimed children's author. You Have Me to Love, his first novel for adults, won the 2014 Dutch Booksellers Award, the Dioraphte Prize, and the ANV Award for best Dutch debut. Robben was chosen as one of the featured debut authors at the 2018 Brooklyn Book Festival. Summer Brother, a bestseller in the Netherlands, is his second novel. DAVID DOHERTY studied English and literary linguistics in the UK before moving to Amsterdam, where he has been translating all manner of Dutch texts since 1996. He was commended by the jury of the 2017 Vondel Translation Prize for Marente de Moor's The Dutch Maiden and Jaap Robben's You Have Me to Love, and was runner-up in 2019 for his translation of Monte Carlo by Peter Terrin. Jaap Robben's Summer Brother, which Doherty most recently translated, was longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize.

"Dutch author Jaap Robben's second novel shows us the shedding of innocence. Summer Brother, translated by David Doherty, shakes out over a hot summer, during that potent lull when characters so splendidly boil, burst and bloom...Summer Brother grapples with the consequences of carelessness and the abuse of power and trust, even if the violation is unintentional...Robben is wonderful at drawing characters with just a few deliberate strokes...Like a photographer shooting a portrait, Robben captures his subjects in Summer Brother in a focused close-up." --New York Times

"A sensitive yet unsentimental depiction of poverty and disability from the perspective of an abled character." --Kirkus Reviews

"The book's language is precise and forthright as Brian observes, and portrays in stark terms, the intense, awkward, and lovely actions of those around him. Sharp exchanges reveal characters who are witty and earnest in equal measure. Summer Brother is a harrowing novel about dysfunctional family dynamics and the universal awkwardness of being a teenager." --Foreword Reviews

"A tragic tale of generational dysfunction" --Publishers Weekly

"Refined and subtle, and at the same time one of the most striking voices in contemporary Dutch literature" --LIZE SPIT, author of The Melting

"A writer who passes the ball with such elegance that there's no need to hammer it home." --De Volkskrant

"Subtle and refined." --NRC Handelsblad

"Robben's style is deceptively simple. You don't have to be an adult to read Summer Brother, yet Robben's imagery, subtle humor, and surprising plot will connect with the most literate of readers. The novel gives a moving insight into a boyhood that gives pause for reflection." --De Standaard

"Like no other writer, Robben can empathize with the mind of a child and he imbues the reader with this open and uninhibited outlook as the story unfolds." --Hebban

"Summer Brother is a wry and funny book about a damaged family." --Algemeen Dagblad

"Lovingly, Robben shows Brian's hapless attempts to deal with pills and full diapers, yet all the while he is working mercilessly towards the inevitable climax." --VPRO Gids

"A poignant story about loyalty, disloyalty, solidarity, and puberty." --De Limburger

"A truly gutsy novel." --Tzum

"Robben is an excellent writer." --Nederlands Dagblad

"Summer Brother is a beautiful, modest novel. As he did with You Have Me to Love, Robben will once again win over a young generation of readers with this book. That in itself is praiseworthy." --Elsevier

"Jaap Robben has once again written an overwhelming book." --HMC Dagbladen

"Jaap Robben has done it again."

"His first novel, You Have Me to Love, was well-received, won prizes, and became a sales success. Summer Brother is a worthy successor and has all the ingredients to follow the same path. Robben knows how to write simply and magnificently―I kept underlining beautiful sentences in the first chapters." --Trouw

Praise for You Have Me to Love

"You Have Me to Love explores raw and unsettling psychological territory. It is a story that once read will stick with the reader for a long time." --Literary Review

"Moving between child-like speculation and shocking realism, Robben's novel transports the reader into lives almost beyond imagining in the contemporary world. With echoes of Ian McEwan and Peter Carey, Robben's tale, already a huge success in the Netherlands, is one to savor and discuss." --ALA Booklist

"You Have Me to Love left me gasping, literally, for air. And groping for understanding. A blindingly good novel about the vulnerability of children and the hard truth of the world they inhabit." --The King's English Bookshop

"You Have Me to Love is an intense and dramatic novel filled with meticulous use of detail and a forensic psychological accuracy. Its power comes from the fierce energy of the narrative structure, the way of handling silence and pain, and the ability to confront the darkest areas of experience with clear-eyed sympathy and care. Jaap Robben handles delicate, dangerous material with subtlety and sympathy, but also with a visionary sense of truth that is masterly and unforgettable." --COLM TÓIBÍN

"I was completely seduced by this novel―it's raw and harrowing and very moving. Robben is a very powerful writer who reminds me very much of Per Petterson." --AIFRIC CAMPBELL

"This is a bold, tender and ambivalent narrative, raw and disturbing, with moments of painful beauty; a taut narrative heavy with a convincing sense of dread." --Irish Times

"A small masterpiece." --Harpers Bazaar

"A promising novelist has risen. Robben lifts you from your life and sweeps you away, with no chance of escaping." --De Morgen

"An overwhelming debut about lost childhood innocence, You Have Me to Love can be favorably compared to Niccolò Ammaniti's I'm Not Scared and Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden." --Het Parool

"A gripping novel that steadily tightens its hold." --De Volkskrant

"Beautiful, just beautiful." --GERBRAND BAKKER