Henk Pröpper / Henk Pröpper – 27 Beats per Minute

Henk Pröpper – 27 Beats per Minute

Henk Pröpper – 27 Beats per Minute

Rights sold

  • Mountain Leopard Press (WE)

Read our sample translation of 27 Beats per Minute

About the book

Soon after Henk Pröpper moves from Amsterdam to Paris, the world but also his heart nearly come to a stop. He undergoes a major operation, only to awake in an empty city. Paris has transformed into an abandoned stage during its first lockdown. To hasten his recovery Pröpper begins walking. He combs out his immediate surroundings and hunts for the past, discovering countless comme-morative plaques and monuments that honour well- and lesser-known Parisians and bring their histories to life. Pröpper also reflects, to the rhythm of his journeys, on his life and the literature that has shaped him. In this way he walks – at times literally – in the footsteps of literary heroes such as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac and Albert Camus.

27 Beats Per Minute is a dazzling ode to life, literature and Paris, the French capital that even in her emptiness and desolation is still magnificent.


‘27 Beats Per Minute is one of the most moving and most invigorating autobiographies ever written. This is a finely polished gem worthy of admiration.’ – Knack

‘It is a concise masterpiece that summarizes a life in the time of corona in the personal, euphoric and precarious shades of one year. Without one’s realising, it covers just about everything: thoughts, emotions, literature, films, loves, feelings, memories, annoyances and doubts. It is a personal essay that touches all highs and lows.’ – Vrij Nederland

‘27 Beats Per Minute is the literary precipitate of a turbulent period of stagnation; a philosophical, musing book with the pleasantly slow heartbeat of the writer, who carries the reader through the city, European literature and history.’ – het Parool

Henk Pröpper (1958) is the author of the novel The Crab’s Sword and numerous essays. For forty years he has written about the literature and culture of France, the country where he was a diplomat and director of the famous Institut Néerlandais. He was director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature for several years. Pröpper also writes for de Volkskrant, mainly about French subjects. From 2011 to 2016 he was the director-publisher of De Bezige Bij.

© Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information

  • Memoir
  • ISBN 9789403134611
  • Number of pages: 144
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €20,99
  • English sample available