Marcia Luyten / Marcia Luyten – The Luck of Limburg

Marcia Luyten – The Luck of Limburg

Marcia Luyten – The Luck of Limburg

About the book

When Sjaakie was born in 1949 everyone said the little fellow had perfect hands for working underground. He grew up as the fourth generation of a coalmining family in the south of the Netherlands, in a virtuous Catholic community brimful of pride: the miners could work, drink, pray, play and fight harder than anyone – and they were serving the nation. Everything revolved around coal. Large parts of South Limburg were reshaped by ‘social engineers’ to suit the ubiquitous coal. Church, mine and state ruled the miners’ lives in a totalitarian fashion. But Sjaakie wanted no part of it. He was going to sing, to take to the stage. While his star rose, the mines went into decline. Marcia Luyten depicts the glory and downfall of the Dutch coalmining industry through an eventful family history.


An irresistible story. Marcia Luyten pulls out all the literary stops; her language is baroque, spicy and full of compassion. ***** – de Volkskrant

Luyten paints a virtually complete, colourful picture of the mining community of Heilust and surrounding area, paying particular attention to the woman who tried to wash that coal-black existence white. *** – NRC Handelsblad

A beautifully written book, a delight to read; the life of my own family passes by. – Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission


Marcia Luyten (b. 1971) is an economist and cultural historian. She presents the programme Buitenhof for VPRO television. She is the author of Whitey Give Money (2003), Blinkered (2008) and Bye, Africa (2013). The Luck of Limburg was published in 2015. The Luck of Limburg won her the Brusse Prize 2016.

© Keke Keukelaar

Additional book information

  • Literary non-fiction
  • ISBN 9789023496250
  • Number of pages: 368
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 19,99