Nominated by:

Muntpunt, Brussels, Belgium

The Libraries of The Hague, The Netherlands

de Bibliotheek Utrecht, The Netherlands

Publisher of nominated edition:

World Editions, The Netherlands

Fortunate Slaves

Tom Lanoye      

Translated from the original Dutch by Michele Hutchison

2017 Longlist

Two doppelgänger exiles—both, curiously, named Tony Hanssen—are on the run from the lies and deceit that have defined their lives. When they accidentally meet up, they realise that each could hold the solution to the other’s problems. An allegory of the global economic crisis and of the identity conflict of modern man, Fortunate Slaves is a moral and picaresque novel that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Just how low will desperate men sink to achieve their aims?

(from publisher)

About the Author

Tom Lanoye is an award-winning, highly acclaimed Belgian novelist, poet and playwright. He is a best-selling author and makes regular appearances at major European festivals. His novel Fortunate Slaves sold over 50,000 copies and was shortlisted for both the Libris Literature Prize and the AKO Literature Prize 2014. His bestseller Speechless was awarded several major prizes and has been voted one of the most popular ‘new classics’ in Flemish literature. He lives in Antwerp and Capetown.

Librarians’ Comments

Two individuals with the same name (Doppelganger in fact) have adventures in their strive for money and recognition. A tragic but also comical novel with a twist. Lanoye writes beautiful prose, the story is amusing, thrilling (with real cliffhangers!) and informative. It takes place in South America, Africa and China and is a story about the modern world in an economic crisis and individual choices.

With its seeming paradoxes and moral complications, this is a picaresque novel that immerses the reader in its sparkling language.

Chosen by our readers.

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