Dirk van Weelden / Dirk van Weelden – The Example of Their Love

Dirk van Weelden – The Example of Their Love

Dirk van Weelden – The Example of Their Love

Read our sample translation of The Example of Their Love

About the book

‘As I remember, you were the only one who wasn’t surprised when my parents  did it together. They did almost everything together, including dying. They’ve been dead and buried some twenty years now, and I’ve started wondering what to do with all the old papers my father and mother left behind.’

They wrote to each other between 1 January 1948 and 31 December 1950. That was how their love began. He wrote from a ship in the Pacific Ocean, and she from a bombed-out Rotterdam, from the desk of an idealistic female student at the school for social work.

Dirk van Weelden based his book, The Example of Their Love, on those letters. It’s a universal tale that reaffirms how we are shaped by circumstances, our parents, their character and ideas. And how, generation after generation, these things are passed on. At the same time, this is a passionate plea for reading and writing as a source of strength and as a fine instrument for remaining intimately present, even from a distance.

Dirk van Weelden uses his parent's letters to tell the story of their blossoming love. The writer compels you to focus on the text and examine it from all angles. – de Volkskrant

In his uniquely moving The Example of Their Love, Dirk van Weelden brings his father and mother back to life. He has such mastery of the narrative material that you can't help but wonder: why doesn't he publish more? **** – de Limburger


DIRK VAN WEELDEN (b. 1957) studied philosophy and debuted in 1987 with Martin Bril in Vitamins for Work: The ABC of Bril & Van Weelden. In 1989 he made his solo debut with Presence of Mind. That was followed by books including Mobile Home, (Multatuli Prize 1992), Oasis, Orville, and From Here to Here. In 1999, he was awarded the Frans Kellendonk Prize. He subsequently wrote more novels, short stories and essays, including A Month in Manhattan, a logbook, and the novel The Final Year. Since 1999, Van Weelden has been the editor of literary magazine De Gids.

© Frank Ruiter

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789403158617
  • Number of pages: 240
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €23,99
  • English sample available