Erwin Mortier / Erwin Mortier – On Love and Death

Erwin Mortier – On Love and Death

Erwin Mortier – On Love and Death

Read our sample translation of On Love and Death

About the book

‘I increasingly think of them as animals, beautiful, shy animals. If we do not drive the dead from the chambers of our souls, they remain. We must banish them in order to be able to welcome them into our memories as what they have become: disembodied loved ones who once existed but are now gone for good. That temporary exile is necessary in order to guarantee their return.’

In On Love and Death. A Parting Erwin Mortier puts this into practice sublimely, raising the stakes high. The book follows two dear friends to the final borders where death is to be found. Just in time he cuts himself loose, in order to allow them to appear again on paper: under his pen they return as powerful characters.

Mortier is superb… a poised consideration of war’s long impact on feeling and faith. – Kirkus Reviews

Almost too beautiful a writer... the footprint of Proust visible on every page.– Financial Times

Press on On Love and Death:

On Love and Death. A Parting is more than a sublime homage to an important writer and his spouse. It is also a reverie on how inept we are at dealing with mortality and death. – Cutting Edge

On Love and Death is a long, meandering reverie on death, sorrow and grief, but especially on love, which can sometimes be stifling and sometimes liberating but is unique to each individual. Mortier’s quest for words is so personal that everyone will recognise something of themselves. – De Standaard


Erwin Mortier (b. 1965) made his mark in 1999 with his debut novel Marcel, which was awarded several prizes, was nominated for the most important literary awards and has been published in several countries. His novel Godenslaap (While the Gods Were Sleeping) won him the renowned AKO Literature Prize, and has been shortlisted  for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2015. Gestameld liedboek (Stammered Songbook), received unanimous praise, and won the 2013 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger in the category essay. Five of his major works have been published in English by Pushkin Press.

© Lieve Blancquaert

Additional book information

  • Memoir
  • ISBN 9789023499435
  • Number of pages: 104
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 17,99
  • English sample available