Jan Cremer / Jan Cremer – Sirens

Jan Cremer – Sirens

Jan Cremer – Sirens

About the book


In the dark winter days of 1959, an unknown West-Frisian nurse and a painter-rebel meet in late-night Amsterdam. It’s love at first sight, a destiny for the two of them, there and then. Five years later both are famous, she as Loesje Hamel, top model for Pierre Cardin and later the star of the theatre group Shaffy Chantant, he as the author of a perpetual bestseller.

What begins as forbidden love becomes a hectic and restless odyssey that for some ten years keeps pushing them apart, to different sides of the ocean. Yet they continue to seek each other out. It’s not for another half-century that Jan has the courage to read her letters and to confront himself. That experience inspired him to write Sirens, an account of their tragic love.


‘Jan Cremer takes stock, more honestly than ever before. Beautiful memories. A fragile document.’ **** DE VOLKSKRANT

‘The most personal book he has ever written. An ode to a great love.’ NRC HANDELSBLAD

‘Good book, wonderful letters. Desire, longing, regret.’ HET PAROOL

‘The letters pull no punches. Authentic,
unvarnished, with no other goal – like Odysseus long ago – than to find her home in love and in her lover.’ ****


Jan Cremer (b. 1940), artist and writer, achieved international fame in 1964 with his first novel, I, Jan Cremer. At the author’s request, ‘a sure-fire bestseller’ was printed on the cover, right from the very first edition. Cremer’s controversial comments in I, Jan Cremer were viewed by some as a threat to national security, an appalling example to young people and more. At the same time, he was praised by such prominent colleagues as Willem Frederik Hermans. The sequel was published in 1966 and also became a smash hit. His subsequent work has included travelogues, letters and an autobiographical account.

(c) Sacha de Boer

Additional book information

  • Memoir
  • ISBN 9789023443582
  • Number of pages: 304
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99