Chris de Stoop / Chris de Stoop – When the Water Breaks

Chris de Stoop – When the Water Breaks

Chris de Stoop – When the Water Breaks

Option publishers

  • Christian Bourgois (France)


Read our sample translation of When the Water Breaks 


About the book

This is the true story of a fisherman and his daughter, who fled their native country of Vietnam thirty years ago. Hung crossed the sea in his overpopulated little fishing boat and barely survived. He started a new life in a Belgian village. Years later, his daughter Quyen opens a successful restaurant, but questions her identity. It is also the story of the dozens of other travellers from that same boat, with whom Hung and his family bobbed about on the sea—a small community of interlinked lives, brought together by one decisive moment. Not everyone survived. Some felt lost afterwards. Others became doctors, engineers, bankers or entrepreneurs. A story of sacrifice, deceit, conflict, fear, love and homesickness, told in a relatable style by Chris de Stoop, who follows the family for years, having spoken to dozens of those who travelled with them. With so many parallels to the world of today, this book shines a humane light on the problematic issues surrounding the ships full of refugees refused entry by European countries today.

On This is My Farm:

An impactful book that describes the loss of the farming life as a cultural battle that affects everyone. – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Chris de Stoop (b. 1958) is the author of widely-praised books and the winner of journalistic and literary prizes. The bestseller This is My Farm (2015), about the loss of a farming landscape, was a Book of the Month for television programme ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ and won him the Confituur Independent Booksellers Prize. This is My Farm sold to Germany, France and China.

(c) Lenny Oosterwijk

Additional book information

  • Literary non-fiction
  • ISBN 9789023499688
  • Number of pages: 288
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 15
  • English sample available