Frederik Willem Daem / Frederik Willem Daem – Signs of Life

Frederik Willem Daem – Signs of Life

Frederik Willem Daem – Signs of Life

About the book

As the evening in pub De Kauw grew later, only more heads stumbled in and before you knew it everyone stood shoulder to shoulder, bobbing back and forth with nothing but the bar as buoy. Mist and sweat fought in the air, and next to you someone slurped the last bit of their Long Island Iced Tea from between the melting ice cubes. Soon there would be reluctant dancing, even though the floor had been sticky for weeks with beer.

For three years Frederik Willem Daem drifted from one pub to the next to write until closing time. From his experiences in that world comes his novel Signs of Life. Everything came together in De Kauw, here he sought refuge, waiting for what was and what was still to come, as the pub worked through its own loss. This debut novel is a dazzling book about addiction, detachment and advertising and reads like an intellectual haze you won’t quickly sober up from.

On Even the Birds Are Falling:

'In intriguing short stories, you dive into a sombre, sometimes alienating world and you’re close to the characters’ hearts. A surprising debut.’ – ELLE

'You simply need to have read a debut like this one’ – CLEEFT

Excerpt from Signs of Life:

For ten minutes he stared into space, sobbing, and although the moment had every semblance of his lowest ebb, at the same time it felt like something he had spent so long waiting for. He embraced the breaking point, as if it were a vindication, as if sorrow had only earned its place when it became visible, and pain only became tangible when he could register the tears, feel them running down his cheeks, taste them, salty on his tongue.

Frederik Willem Daem (b. 1988) is a writer from Brussels, Belgium. He has published stories in, among other literary magazines, Das Magazin, Revisor, The Literary Review, DWB and Oogst, of which he is a cofounder. In the late summer of 2015, Daem made his debut with the short story collection Even the Birds Are Falling, which won the 2016 Debut Prize.

© Catherine Lemblé

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789403143606
  • Number of pages: 304
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €23,99