Jan Siebelink / Jan Siebelink – Margje

Jan Siebelink – Margje

Jan Siebelink – Margje

About the book

Ruben Sievez, the son in Siebelink’s bestselling novel In My Father’s Garden, which sold more than 500.000 copies, is now an elderly man looking back on his life as he wanders through his Uncle Anton’s empty house. As a boy he found there, in the basement, an album containing a photo of his uncle with
a younger woman. Ruben recognized her immediately as his mother Margje, who at that moment was upstairs drinking tea. All his life, Ruben has cherished an impossible dream about her. Did she perhaps love his younger brother Thomas, who rebelled against their religiously-obsessed father, more than she
loved him? If only he could have taken his brother’s place.

In Margje we return to the Sievez family, but this time the focus has shifted from the father, Hans, to other members of the family. In a spellbinding style, Siebelink depicts scenes from the eventful history of a family in which everyone tries to become someone else.

I have never read a Dutch novel that is so pure and so well written. He deserves all the prizes we have this year. – VRIJ NEDERLAND

A truly majestic novel … Anyone who reads this book without a lump in his throat cannot be human. – ELSEVIER

Nobody has written so penetratingly about how a person can become lost because of religion. – SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG


In Knielen op een bed violen (My Father’s Garden) by Jan Siebelink (b. 1938) was awarded the ako Literature Prize and was published in German (Arche Verlag / dtv), Italian (Marsilio Editori), Danish (Tiderne Skifter) and is in preparation in Greek (Kastaniotis). A full English translation is available. Siebelink’s previous novel, De blauwe nacht (The Blue Night), was published in 2014.

© Paul Levitton

Additional book information

  • novel
  • ISBN 9789023495161
  • Number of pages: 264
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,90