Alma Mathijsen / Alma Mathijsen – Save The Summer

Alma Mathijsen – Save The Summer

Alma Mathijsen – Save The Summer

About the book

In the bend of a winding road between forests and olive orchards in northern Italy, there is a house that Alma’s parents bought as a ruin. She was less than a year old when they first took her with them and, since then, not a summer passed without visiting the house, where everything seems to happen more intensely than in the Netherlands. Alma’s father fell ill there and passed away the following year, a month before they were to go to Italy. In the summers thereafter the loss grew steadily heavier. The house that was so entwined with him, now symbolized his absence, while at the same time giving her the ability to summon him in hallucinatory images. In the house Alma learned to hide her grief between the cracks and discovered how to let herself fall from the highest bridge in the valley. Now that, for the first time ever, she cannot return this summer, she only has language to win back the house.

‘Besides being a candid, raw self-examination of grief, loss, love, demons and self-fabricated fairy tales, Save the Summer is above all a tender, honest work that gives cause for reflection.’ – TZUM

‘What makes it extraordinary is the purity with which Alma Mathijsen describes her personal history until now, without finery or sensationalism, even without much psychologising: a woman who opens her soul, for the reader but also in an attempt to understand herself.’ – TROUW

‘Alma Mathijsen has outdone herself with this story. She connects death with the sun.’**** – DE LIMBURGER

‘She writes beautifully and expressively (…) Alma Mathijsen succeeds wonderfully in evoking the girl she once was.’ – DE VOLKSKRANT

‘Mathijsen has written it all down very lightly and that only strengthens its potency. If an anthology with brilliant closing passages is ever made, the one from this novel would have a shining place in it.’ – HET PAROOL

‘In Save the Summer Alma Mathijsen dares to look herself straight in the eyes and in that way confront reality.’ – KUNSTTIJDSCHRIFT VLAANDEREN

Alma Mathijsen (b. 1984) studied Image & Language at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy 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 newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Her most recent novel, I Don’t Want to Be a Dog (2019), will be published in Germany by C.H. Beck in the spring of 2021.

© Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information

  • Autofiction
  • ISBN 9789403113814
  • Number of pages: 189
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: €21,99
  • English sample available