Raoul de Jong / Raoul de Jong – Conversations with Grandpa

Raoul de Jong – Conversations with Grandpa

Raoul de Jong – Conversations with Grandpa


About the book

Raoul and his grandfather are, in many respects, polar opposites. Grandpa Ep is a white, 90-year-old male who has never had to cook or clean; he has little faith in women drivers. Raoul is 35, mixed-race, prefers men, doesn’t have a driver’s license, and cries at Julia Roberts’ movies.  But his grandpa is one of the people who gave Raoul the gift of life.

When Raoul visits his grandfather in his new room in a nursing home, grandpa Ep seems more confused and fragile than usual. So Raoul decides to talk with him now, when it’s still possible, to help come to terms with and preserve the stories of his grandfather’s generation. With the corona pandemic and international Black Lives Matter protests as a backdrop, grandpa and grandson discuss life, death and everything in between.

Based on essays Raoul wrote during his grandfather’s final year of life, Conversations with Grandpa is a warm universe full of life lessons, love, contented smiles and fairy tales, both large and small.

Grandpa Ep was always there, from the moment I took my first breath. He had beautiful, white hair combed back from his forehead. He wore corduroy trousers, striped shirts, woollen sweaters and big beige jackets my grandmother bought for him. When he was angry, he stuttered. He was at the forefront of everything he did. He was the reason my mother thought it best to raise her children without a father.

Press on previous work:

Jaguar Man is a surprisingly rich book. De Jong pulls you into the story, full of offshoots and leaps in time and thought. It's incredibly easy to see the world through his eyes, surprised and moved, entertained and bewildered. His discoveries become your own. **** – NRC Handelsblad


RAOUL DE JONG (b. 1984) writes for various newspapers and has published five books. He was awarded the Dick Scherpenzeel Prize for his 2013 debut, The Greatness of It All, which was further distinguished with the best Rotterdam Book Award and an honourable mention from the Bob den Uyl Prize. His book Jaguar Man appeared in 2020 and was is nominated for the Libris Literature Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, the Boekenbon Literature Prize and the Boon. The French translation will be published later this year by Buchet-Chastel


© Ramona Deckers

Additional book information

  • Non-fiction
  • ISBN 9789403163413
  • Number of pages: 88
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €17,99