Valentijn Hoogenkamp / Valentijn Hoogenkamp – Adoring Louis Claus

Valentijn Hoogenkamp – Adoring Louis Claus

Valentijn Hoogenkamp – Adoring Louis Claus

Rights sold

  • Atlantik/Hoffmann & Campe (Germany)


Read our sample translation of Adoring Louis Claus


About the book

It’s 2003, the summer that Louis Claus goes to school wearing a clown suit and Carla cuts her trousers too short, the summer that her father discovers a tumour in her mother’s breast as they make love and her friend Juicy is expelled from school for cocaine-use. After that summer, they go their separate ways, but years later, after her mother’s death, Carla once again becomes fascinated by Louis, who is now a successful actor. Upon returning to her memories, she appears to have misjudged their relationship.

Adoring Louis Claus is about the thin line between longing and despair, keeping silent and speaking out; a poetic quest for intimacy.



‘The book reveals something painful and quite ordinary, without Hoogenkamp yelling it in your face. In a literary sense, that is beautiful and effective and justified, and then the actual plot also has something poignant to it too – clever.’
**** – NRC Handelsblad

‘Longing, for advanced feelers.’ – De Standaard

‘Hoogenkamp’s ingenious composition, snappy dialogues, agile style and deeply felt psychology are as pretty as a picture.’ – Tzum

‘Hoogenkamp articulates traumas in a subtle and sometimes confrontational way. He’s particularly good at portraying relationships, bringing tears to your eyes when, within the space of a few sentences, he manages to evoke the powerlessness inherent in them. A beautiful scene in which the protagonist moves to an old school building captures that complexity of feeling very well. Her father, who will now be on his own in the family home, has helped her. ‘Dad was waiting at the front door, looking a little lost. I thanked him and gave him a hug and said, “take care of yourself”. It wasn’t until I swung the big school door shut that I noticed the parking slip in his hand. He’d added money to the meter without letting on that he wanted to stay.’ It’s lines like these that really hit home. Adoring Louis Claus is a great debut.’
***** Leeuwarder Courant

'There’s no question that Valentijn Hoogenkamp’s beautiful debut marks the start of a long writing career.' **** de Volkskrant

'A terrific novel. How do you look at somebody, how do you connect with somebody and who is somebody deep down? Valentijn Hoogenkamp explores these questions in a subtle story that’s extremely poignant as well as comical, and yet between the lines of the amazing dialogues we get a glimpse of the tragedy of a person struggling to connect with the world. It’s a coming-of-age novel, and Valentijn Hoogenkamp has done a fantastic job of describing the girl’s development. Where has this amazing writer come from?’
– Onno Blom in Nieuwsweekend

‘This remarkable debut about a fateful love affair really sizzles and pops.' – ZIN

Valentijn Hoogenkamp  (b. 1986) has written ten works of theatre and read poetry at cultural festivals such as Lowlands, Parade and Oerol. His work has been awarded with the El Hizjra Literature Prize, nominated for the ITs RO Theatre Award and selected for Women Playwrights International Stockholm and Interplay Europe Madrid. In 2015, Wintertuin Uitgeverij published his novella Little Mermaid, Accidentally Dead. Adoring Louis Claus is his debut novel.

© Sanja Marusic

Additional book information

  • Novel
  • ISBN 9789403101415
  • Number of pages: 216
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €21,99
  • English sample available