Mathijs Deen / Mathijs Deen – The Lightship

Mathijs Deen – The Lightship

Mathijs Deen – The Lightship

Rights sold

  • mare Verlag (Germany)
  • Iperborea (Italy)
  • Fraktura (Croatia)

About the book

For the crew aboard the lightship, the work is monotonous, the living quarters cramped and the pay minimal. The men hold watch, chart the weather, note the names of passing ships and keep the light running. During storms the ship jerks at its chain, in thick fog the foghorn blasts, on clear nights the stars are innumerable. And after four weeks the men can go back ashore. The moment they all eagerly await.

At the centre of the small  community at sea is the cook Lammert, who prepares meals three times a day at fixed hours. Lammert is the most important man on the ship. Food offers consolation and stability in this isolated life. Things carry on as they usually do, until the day he wants to slaughter a young goat for a stew. The arrival of this young, jumpy animal upsets the fixed routine aboard the lightship and puts relationships on edge.

‘A pearl, a little book with a big impact.’ – AD MAGAZINE

‘Material enough for a dense novel that Deen instead turns into a crystal-clear novella, gorgeous for its language, with short sentences full of atmosphere and meaning.’ **** – DE STANDAARD

‘Deen gained fame as a radio producer and as the writer of the successful historical studies The Wadden Islands and Down Old Roads, which were praised for their captivating power, the ability to bring history to life. Here, too, he skilfully and poetically evokes a mysterious sailors’ world of lonely men in the mist.’ – TROUW TIJDSGEEST

‘In that way Mathis Deen depicts the Texel, today a museum piece, in better times – which immediately already sounds tragic as a story: in better times it stayed still. That decor, and the figures we can so image as the crew, have been immortalized in a fairly unforgettable way by Deen in The Lightship.’**** – NRC HANDELSBLAD

‘An exquisite novella.’ – DE VOLKSKRANT

Mathijs Deen (b. 1962) is a writer and radio producer. His short story collection Brutus is Hungry was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. In 2013, he published The Wadden Islands to national acclaim. His novel Among People was reissued in 2016 and consequently sold to mare Verlag in Germany. Down Old Roads (2018) has been published in German, Italian and Korean.

© Lin Woldendorp

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789400406605
  • Number of pages: 125
  • World rights: Thomas Rap
  • Price: €17,99