From the author of the hit The Evenings – two classic novellas that are considered among Gerard Reve’s best work
There will be a club. Important messages have been sent already. If anybody wants to ruin it, he will be punished.
Eleven-year-old Elmer inhabits a childhood of superstition, private lore and secret societies that only certain friends can join (and of which he is always president). When a new boy, pale, spindly Werther, arrives in the neighbourhood, a subtle game of fascination and persecution begins.
In wartime Amsterdam, a young boy watches as Germans occupy the city. At first his parents’ friends, the Boslowits family, think they have little to fear. Then, slowly, terribly, their fate is sealed.
In these two haunting novellas from the acclaimed author of The Evenings, the world of childhood, in all its magic and strangeness, darkness and cruelty, is evoked with piercing wit and dreamlike intensity. Here, the things seen through a child’s eyes are far from innocent.
Gerard Reve (1923-2006) is considered one of the greatest post-war Dutch authors, and was also the first openly gay writer in the country’s history. A complicated and controversial character, Reve is also hugely popular and critically acclaimed- his 1947 debut The… More about Gerard Reve
“Profoundly unsettling and haunt[s] the mind for long afterwards.” — Sunday Times, Books of the Year
“These two posthumously published novellas show he was capable of enormous and often unsettling power.” — Observer
“Enthralling… tales of the joys and pains of life that linger in the mind.” —Financial Times
“Reve [has the ability]… to wring menace out of things left unsaid.” —Daily Mail
Expertly translated.” — The National
“In a distinctive voice that captures childish incomprehension while still conveying what is missed by the still immature mind, the two words collected in Childhood are dark and even unpleasant, but both strong and impressive.” — Asymptote Journal