Daniël Samkalden / Daniël Samkalden – Nova

Daniël Samkalden – Nova

Daniël Samkalden – Nova

Read our sample translation of Nova


About the book

After a brilliant insight, astronomer Julie travels to a peaceful mountain landscape in America for the ultimate test of her theory. Television biologist Thomas de Poes travels after her in an attempt to set things right after their first embarrassing encounter. He carries with him his life story, written down by the tormented author Maarten Schrepel, who gave up everything for his writing career, even the relationship with his estranged son. The three of them cause tempestuous disruption to each other’s lives. As their paths cross in some of the most remote places on earth, their utterly different ways of thinking become apparent. The question for each of them is: can they escape their fate or must they submit to it?

I know the bars that aren’t too quiet but are not packed either. Where the men aren’t senile but neither are they cocky. The door swings open, I unbutton my coat, one drink is enough. The men are always willing. Always. You don’t have to complicate things. You don’t need any special chat-up lines. Nor a military campaign. They all just come along like pet ducks. Perhaps it’s sad. But mainly it’s comforting. I don’t know what I’d do without their perpetual zeal.

I like my solitary passage through the evening. When the rhythm speeds up and time seems to stretch out. The sluggish concentration. But on evenings like these I cannot be alone. Everything is made of cardboard. My belongings bare their teeth at me like vicious dogs. Eyes shut so I don’t scream. And then open again, breathe! Keep moving, don’t think too much. Each second can reveal new depths.


Daniël Samkalden (b. 1979) is a songwriter, dramatist and theatre director. He has reported on his travels all over the world for the national newspapers NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant. Nova is his long-awaited debut novel.

(c) Sacha de Boer

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789403122809
  • Number of pages: 288
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 20,99
  • English sample available