Nominated by:

de Bibliotheek Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publisher of nominated edition:

World Editions, The Netherlands


Esther Gerritsen      

Translated from the original Dutch by Michele Hutchison

2017 Longlist

The relationship between Coco and her mother Elisabeth is uneasy, to say the least. Running into each other by chance, Elisabeth casually tells Coco that she is terminally ill. When Coco moves in with her mother in order to take care of her, aspects of their troubled relationship come to the fore once again. Elisabeth tries her best to conform to the image of a caring mother, but struggles to deal with Coco’s erratic behaviour and unpredictable moods.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Esther Gerritsen (the Netherlands) is an established novelist and playwright. Craving was published in English last year and shortlisted for the Vondel Prize. Her successful novel Roxy was nominated for the Dutch Libris Literature Prize and film rights have been sold.

Librarian’s Comments

Mother Elizabeth meets her daughter Coco unexpectedly after many years. Elizabeth has cancer and has not long to live. Coco decides to live in with her mother. Psychological profile of mother and daughter with dialogues in short sentences which seem simple but imply so much more: silly, bizarre, but also painful. Mother and daughter slowly lose contact with reality and each other. Gerritsen shows the inner thoughts of both women which gives a fascinating view of alienation and isolation. But in the end both are bound in that isolation. Touching and captivating!

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