Alma Mathijsen / Alma Mathijsen – I Don’t Want to Be a Dog

Alma Mathijsen – I Don’t Want to Be a Dog

Alma Mathijsen – I Don’t Want to Be a Dog

Rights sold

  • C. H. Beck Verlag (Germany)


Read our sample translation of I Don’t Want to Be a Dog


About the book

Heartbreak is all-encompassing, it thunders into our lives unannounced only to leave us cold and alone. But what if there is an escape from heartbreak? What if we don’t have to wallow in our own pain for months on end? If we don’t have to feel that desire for another anymore? If we no longer lie awake at night from the gnawing ache of missing them, if we no longer feel stabs of pain at seeing a couple in love?

I Don’t Want to Be a Dog is a novella about a woman who decides to turn herself into a dog in order to be reunited with her ex-lover. She will be able to love him freely, whine when he leaves the room, snuggle up against him on the couch and growl at every intruder.


‘Any changes?’ Gerard asks.
By now I’ve got hair sprouting all over my body, my nails have turned black and pointy. The ground underfoot is already less painful to walk on.
‘ Look,’ I say, raising my left foot, ‘paw-pads coming on, right?’
Gerard puts his snout down to check.
‘Looks like it. This is your fourth day. I’m jealous, I must admit.’
‘I won’t have to leave just yet, you know. I still have quite a lot to get done before I’m ready.’
‘Last month there was a young lady here, only twenty-two years old, still had long blond hair when she arrived, within six days she’d transitioned into a golden retriever, and the day after that she was placed. Six days in all, just six days. I don’t want to dwell on it, or I’d get some very dark thoughts.’


Alma Mathijsen (b. 1984) studied Image & Language at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Creative Writing in New York. She is the author of six plays, a collection of short stories and three novels. Mathijsen also writes essays for the NRC Handelsblad.

© Merlijn Doomernik

Additional book information

  • Novella
  • ISBN 9789403176307
  • Number of pages: 149
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €19,99
  • English sample available