Jeroen Olyslaegers / Jeroen Olyslaegers – Willem and My Lust

Jeroen Olyslaegers – Willem and My Lust

Jeroen Olyslaegers – Willem and My Lust

About the book

In the year 1885, Hippolyte van Damme steals a number of old letters from an antiquarian bookseller. It turns out they are letters written by Willem Silvius, a prisoner and former publisher, to his wife at the height of the Protestant iconoclastic riots of the 16th century. As a writer of gossipy newspaper supplements constantly in search of sensationalist material, Hippolyte is convinced that he’s struck gold. But it turns out he is badly mistaken, and before long the consequences of this petty crime wreak havoc in his life.

In Willem and My Lust, Olyslaegers draws readers into this tragicomic life characterized by lust, theft and an obsession with books, while teaching us something about what men think they know about women.

Praise for Will:

'The Times historical fiction book of 2019: A brilliant, uncomfortable exploration of the moral compromises necessary to live alongside evil.' - The Times

'Jeroen Olyslaegers' great strength here is to look into dark times and find ever darker corners to show his readers, revealing the doublethink and double dealing that occupation gives rise to. (...) He bravely explores moral compromise, betrayal and collaboration - and throws our polarised times into sharp belief.' - The Guardian

'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) is a Flemish author, playwright and columnist. His novels are lauded for their stylistic control, expressive style and narrative strength. Will (2016) won four major prizes in the Netherlands and Flanders and was translated into eight languages. The film “Will”, directed by Tim Mielants, will be launched next year.

© Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information 

  • Novella
  • ISBN 9789403180618
  • Number of pages: 97
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €18,99