Joris van Casteren / Joris van Casteren – Mother’s Body

Joris van Casteren – Mother’s Body

Joris van Casteren – Mother’s Body

Read our sample translation of Mother’s Body 


About the book

Piet van der Molen is a childless, single man who has never worked in his life and always lived at his parents’ home in the province of Limburg. He has no siblings. After his father’s death, his mother wants Piet to take his place.

When his mother passes away in the scorching summer of 2013, Piet keeps her at home. He continues having conversations with her, his grief is too immense. Two and a half years later, two police agents come knocking. The street watches as people in white suites hoist a ramshackle coffin outside.

Gripped by the incident, Joris van Casteren heads to Limburg. Once there, he and Piet strike up an unexpected bond.

Mother had been very clear, he was not to tell anybody. She was lying on the marital bed, it was Tuesday 23 July 2013. Piet had sat next down to her, on the side where father used to sleep. “What else can you do, my boy?” She started to talk about their cats. At that point there were nine, who were fed high-quality food from exclusive brands which she bought at Das Futterhaus in Tüddern, just over the border in Germany.
Then there was the rent, and all those other costs. How would he be able to come up with that on his own? Piet did not contradict her, he had never done so. So he said: I won’t tell anyone, mother.


Joris van Casteren (b. 1976) had already earned a name as a journalist for his outstanding rapportage, for which he received the Gouden Pennetje Award, when he made his breakthrough in 2008 with Lelystad, which was nominated for the AKO Literature Prize. Thereafter he published, among other works, the equally celebrated The Foot in the IJssel (2013), nominated for the Bob den Uyl Prize, and People on Mars (2016).

(c) Stephan Vanfleteren

Additional book information

  • Non-fiction novel
  • ISBN 9789403138602
  • Number of pages: 288
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99
  • English sample available