The Convert

(Author) (Translator)
Backorder (temporarily out of stock)

Product Details

Pantheon Books
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.4 X 1.3 inches | 1.3 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

STEFAN HERTMANS is an internationally acclaimed Flemish author. For more than twenty years he was a professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Ghent, where he wrote novels, poems, essays, and plays. His previous book, War and Turpentine, was awarded the prestigious AKO Literature Prize in 2014.

Translated from the Dutch by David McKay.


"The Convert, briskly translated from the Dutch by David McKay, is an imaginative flight, full of darkness and light, lively characters, life-altering conflicts, violence and kindness, birth, death and, oddly, a lot of snakes. It is, as it says right there on the cover, nothing less than a novel. And it's a really good one."
--Valerie Martin, The New York Times

"Following such writers as W.G. Sebald, Emmanuel Carrère and Patrick Modiano, [Hertmans] splices his own travels and research into the rendering of the past...Leavening the story's many horrors is the miracle of its preservation. Somehow, nearly a millennium later, Hamoutal has been remembered and honored."
--Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"Utterly spellbinding and brilliantly translated, this prize-worthy journey through time will pull readers in and won't let go until the very last page. A great choice for discussion groups."
--Library Journal (Starred)

"[A] commanding historical novel . . . [that] will satisfy readers willing to be swept away into a starkly different time."
--Publishers Weekly

"The book has a quiet intimacy to it . . . . Constructed with delicacy, lyricism, and care."
--Kirkus Reviews

Praise from the UK

"Extraordinarly good . . . An astonishing tale . . . Hertmans conjures the medieval world with the same sensuous detailing that was so effective in War and Turpentine."
David Mills, The Sunday Times

"Enthralling . . . . A spectacular tale told with spectacular accomplishment."
--Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times ("Books of the Year")

"Hamoutal's story is neatly interwoven with . . . a careful analysis of the various documents and scholarly articles he consulted and an impressively assiduous attempt to follow in her many footsteps."
--James Walton, The Times

"A tale of doomed love . . . What opens as romantically as Romeo and Juliet with the love story of two young adolescents whose wealthy, partisan, and influential families are implacably opposed, ends equally as drastically."
--Amanda Hopkinson, The Jewish Chronicle

"[A] wonderful book . . . . such beautiful prose."
--Aaron Leibel, Washington Jewish Week