Jeroen Olyslaegers / Jeroen Olyslaegers – WILL

Jeroen Olyslaegers – WILL

Jeroen Olyslaegers – WILL

Rights sold

  • Euromedia Group (Czech Republic)
  • Éditions Stock (France)
  • DuMont (Germany)
  • Edizioni E/O (Italy)
  • Seix Barral (Spain)
  • Pushkin Press (United Kingdom)


Read a sample translation  of WILL


About the book

It is wartime. Antwerp is in the grip of violence and distrust. Wilfried Wils regards himself as a poet in the making but at the same time he has to get by as an auxiliary policeman. The beautiful Yvette falls in love with him; her brother is a daredevil who sticks his neck out to help the Jews. Wilfried’s artistic mentor Nijdig Baardje (‘Angry Beard’) is keen to see all the Jews annihilated. Wavering uneasily between two worlds, Wilfried tries to survive as the persuit of the Jews continues relentlessly. Years later he tells his story to his great-grandson. Olyslaegers disputes the widely accepted boudaries between good and evil and makes the book resonate ingeniously with the twenty-first century.


Will introduces an original, fresh perspective on a period that seems to have been written to death. ****
- Knack

Another book about the Second World War? Jeroen Olyslaegers has succeeded in writing a novel very much worth reading about an overexposed period in history.**** - Knack

Without a doubt one of the Flemish novels of the year. – Het Nieuwsblad

An important and confrontational book in which the past continues to resonate with the present, in a style sharp as a razor. ***** - NRC Handelsblad

This powerful novel is a demonstration that there can always be something worthwhile added to the overwhelming quantity of war literature. ***** - NRC Handelsblad

A book like a slap in the face. **** - De Morgen

Jeroen Olyslaegers has done it: his Big Book. He has written his Sorrow of Belgium, his Chapel Road and above all his very own Will. ***** - De Standaard


Jeroen Olyslaegers (b. 1967) writes columns, plays and prose. With his previous novels WE (2009) and Profit (2012) he made a comeback in Dutch literature. In 2014 he was awarded the Ark Prize for the Free Word for his work and his social engagement, and the Edmond Hustinx Prize for his theatre work. Olyslaegers lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.

© Koen Broos

Additional book information:

  • Novel
  • ISBN 978-90-234-9843-8
  • Number of pages: 333
  • World Rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99
  • English sample available