Frank Westerman / Frank Westerman – Choke Valley

Frank Westerman – Choke Valley

Frank Westerman – Choke Valley

Rights sold

  • Fundacja Instytut Reportazu (Poland)
  • Iperborea (Italy)
  • Ediciones Siruela (Spain)
  • Christian Bourgois éditeur (France)
  • Leopard Forlag (Sweden)
  • Christoph Links (Germany)


Read our sample translation of Choke Valley

About the book

Chickens, baboons, zebus and birds drop dead in the  grass – as do two thousand men, women and children. But not before they try to tear the clothes off their bodies. There are no signs of other damage: huts and palm trees are intact. These are the facts. But what happened?

Thirty-six hours after the catastrophe, two Dutch missionaries are the first to descend into the valley of death. In the days that follow, scientists from Japan, Hawaii and Iceland are dropped off in the disaster zone by helicopter. From the edge of the valley, the African survivors look on in complete bewilderment.

Choke Valley deconstructs every single aspect of this mysterious mass death. In his customary, evocative style, Frank Westerman looks at the same event from three different angles. He guides the reader through the jungle of stories which has grown out of the compost of facts in the space of twenty-five years. What words and images have attached themselves to the facts and how have they developed into new myths? How do stories come into being?

Choke Valley is the seventh jewel in Frank Westerman’s crown; a great European author, a writer of literature. - de Volkskrant.

Each and every one of the stories Westerman digs up is brilliant. Choke Valley is a real success as a book. The search for and gathering together of stories was an excellent plan that has been very well executed. Enthusiasm is paramount. * * * * - NRC Handelsblad.

A great book. Modern, urgent and suspenseful. - Laurent Binet (author of HhhH)


Frank Westerman (b. 1964) is the author of major bestsellers including The Republic of Grain (Lou de Jong Prize 2000), El Negro and Me (Golden Owl 2005) and Choke Valley (shortlisted for the AKO Literature Prize 2014). His books have received many other awards and nominations both at home and abroad and his work has been published in sixteen languages.

© Keke Keukelaar

Additional book information

  • novel
  • ISBN 9789023491576
  • Number of pages: 320
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 15,00
  • English sample available