David Van Reybrouck / David Van Reybrouck – Odes

David Van Reybrouck – Odes

David Van Reybrouck – Odes

Rights sold

  • Suhrkamp (Germany)
  • Actes Sud (France)


Read our sample translation of Odes 


About the book

No writer commands the art of the ode like David Van Reybrouck. Since early 2015 he has regularly sung the praises of something, someone or someplace on the website of in-depth news website The Correspondent. Be it the ex, the spring, Leonard Cohen, the cleaning lady, failure, Kofi Annan, or, of course, love, in his subtle and poignant odes he drops his guard completely. Van Reybrouck’s pieces have been shared many times over and bring thousands of readers moments of tranquillity, astonishment and beauty. In Odes they come together for the first time.

And suddenly, there we were again. Last Monday, a Brussels cafe. The day was done and we sat beside each other, just like we used to. Watching people, squeezing each other’s thigh, thinking about that sentence from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Aimer, ce n’est pas de regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.

Yes, we often looked in the same direction. For six years. Committed to so much, astonished at even more, and sometimes simply content with the apple-carrot-ginger juice we made for each other on Sunday mornings.

And now, here we were again. After a three-month silence. She ordered port. Funny, she never used to do that. Everything had changed, yet still it seemed like old times.
Who are these people we once loved so much? The word “ex” doesn’t do justice to the intense, multilayered relations we’re left with from our former loves. The relationships with former lovers are perhaps the most enduring in our lives. The love went, the past remains, something along those lines.


David Van Reybrouck (b. 1971) writes non-fiction, poetry and works for theatre. Congo. A History became an international bestseller. His essay Against Elections appeared in twenty languages and was praised by Kofi Annan. He is the author of the theatre monologue Para. Along with Mohamed El Bachiri he wrote A Jihad of Love and with Thomas d’Ansembourg the essay Peace can be Learned. Van Reybrouck’s Book Week essay Zink won him the Prix du livre Européen. He is currently writing a comprehensive history about Indonesia.

(c) Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information

  • Literary essays
  • ISBN 9789403139906
  • Number of pages: 208
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 24,99
  • English sample available