What I'd Rather Not Think about


Product Details

$15.00  $13.95
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Publish Date
5.04 X 7.72 X 0.87 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Jente Posthuma's critically acclaimed first novel, Mensen zonder uitstraling (People Without Charisma), was published in 2016 and nominated for the Dioraphte Literatour Prize, the Hebban Debut Prize, and the ANV Debut Prize. Her second novel, What I'd Rather Not Think About, published in 2020, was equally well received, and was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature 2021.

Sarah Timmer Harvey is a translator and writer based in New York. Reconstruction, a collection of stories written by the Dutch-Surinamese writer Karin Amatmoekrim and translated by Sarah, was published by Strangers Press in 2020. Sarah's translations of Dutch-language poetry and prose have appeared in Modern Poetry in Translation, Asymptote, Gulf Coast Journal, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.


"A unique story of a twin brother and sister, wryly funny and heartbreakingly sad. Her characters desperately try to make sense of our ever more complex world. This is a rare book. And Jente Posthuma is a treasure and a hell of a writer."
--Herman Koch, international bestselling author of The Dinner

"From the opening pages of this novel I had no idea where it was going, but I trusted Posthuma completely. Tender, offbeat. and deftly drawn--I loved it."
--Allee Richards, author of The Small Joys of Real Life

"Dutch novelist Posthuma returns with a sharp meditation on grief ... The patchworked story of the twins' bond and the brother's fruitless search for meaning is woven with reflections ... inventive and worthy."
--Publishers Weekly

"What I'd Rather Not Think About is a forthright novel in which mental health, sexual orientation, and suicide are subjects of frank, empathetic consideration."
--Foreword Reviews

"The strength here is truly in the minimalist prose--razor-sharp sentences that often slot together perfectly in a seemingly nonchalant way. The result is a powerful story about death, life and survival."
--Nederlands Dagblad

"It is impossible to name everything that is beautiful about this novel. Posthuma needs few words to evoke a feeling or an atmosphere. She writes striking sentences that conjure up poignant images ... this book deserves a large readership."
--Literary Netherlands

"What makes What I'd Rather Not Think About rise above the average mourning novel is its utter authenticity. Posthuma associates, philosophizes, links memories to everyday actions, draws on films and television series and tries to interpret in a laconic, light-footed and pointed way. "Less is more" with Jente Posthuma. And again, she seems to be saying: nothing is "whole" here, in the subhuman. Everything rumbles, frays, and creaks."
--The Telegraph

"Despite its melancholic theme, What I'd Rather Not Think About is infused with a similarly subtle, almost self-effacing humor that in this case expresses the narrator's bewildered, tremulous path through life ... This slim novel is packed with allusions to popular and high culture, history, science and current affairs, yet manages to feel simultaneously rich and uncluttered."
--Linda Jaivin, The Saturday Paper

"[An] exquisitely vulnerable novel."
--Cameron Woodhead, The Sydney Morning Herald

"In some ways it is tricky to recommend this book widely because of its difficult subject matter: it revolves around the grief of a twin who is trying to work out how to move forward in her own life after her brother, a long-term sufferer of depression, takes his own. To paraphrase the title, familial suicide and depression are certainly two of the key things many people would rather not think (or indeed read) about, but I want to tell you that this book is gorgeous. It is expertly crafted, moving, and at times startlingly funny, as the narrator tries to navigate the enormity of her loss ... This short book contains a beautiful and compelling portrait of the grieving mind, as both storyteller and reader wander through the terrains of disbelief, regret, loneliness, and unending love."
--Alison Huber, Readings

"[A] beautifully observed narration."
--Marcus Hobson, NZ Booklovers

"A beautiful and strangely life-affirming evocation of grief."

-- The New European

"Tough to read but wonderfully rewarding."

--Willow Heath

"Through a delicately woven tale of memory, shared selfhood, and grief, the author takes us into the mind that struggles to understand a world shattered by loss, when one sibling dies and another is left to reconstitute the fragments. Poetic and surprising, Posthuma shows how even in the most intimate of connections, in another person lies the great unknown ... Posthuma develops an affecting novel about grief by embracing its full complexity."
--Daljinder Johal, Asymptote Journal